TOKYO (AP) — In an Olympics where many of the favorites have faltered, Caeleb Dressel lived up to the hype.
Dressel claimed the first individual Olympic gold medal of his career with two furious laps of the pool Thursday morning, winning the 100-meter freestyle over defending champion Kyle Chalmers.
As is his style, Dressel dove into the pool and came up with the lead. He was still ahead at the lone flip, and turned away the Aussie’s bid for a second straight gold.
Dressel’s winning time was an Olympic record of 47.02 seconds — a mere six-hundredths of a second ahead of Chalmers, who had to settle for a silver this time.
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The bronze was claimed by Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov (47.44), who added to his silver in the 100 backstroke.
The first three gold medals of Dressel’s career were all in the relays — two in Rio de Janeiro, another in the 4×100 free relay at the Tokyo Games.
Now, Dressel has earned one all by himself.
He climbed atop the lane rope, a look of wonder on his face, and held up the index finger on each hand.
No. 1 indeed.
Dressel’s gold was the second of the morning for the Americans, who got a surprise victory from Bobby Finke in the Olympic debut of the men’s 800 free.
Dressel’s victory pulled the Americans ahead of the Aussies with six golds in Tokyo. They also led the overall medal tally with 20.