(TOKYO) — Caeleb Dressel set a new Olympic record in swimming at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Florida-based swimmer can count himself among the greats after the 100-meter freestyle on Wednesday, which he swam in 47.02.
Dressel was visibly emotional at the conclusion of the race, telling NBC in an interview immediately after getting out of the pool, “It’s a really tough year, just really hard, so to have the results show up, I mean, it really came together, so I’m happy.”
In addition to setting the Olympic record, Dressel finished with the gold medal. Australian Kyle Chalmers was close behind, finishing in 47.08, and Kliment Kolesnikov, an athlete from Russia, won the bronze in 47.44.
Dressel went into the race already having won one medal in Tokyo as part of the U.S. 4×100-meter freestyle relay team.
He had a successful Olympic debut in 2016, earning a gold medal along with a team medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, in which Dressel handed off to swimming legend Michael Phelps.
But Dressel really made a name for himself in 2019, when he smashed a world record previously held by Phelps, who retired after the games in Rio, in the 100-meter butterfly.
The 24-year-old has faced many comparisons to Phelps as he emerges as a powerhouse in the swim world, although Dressel specializes in sprints — shorter, faster races.
Dressel came to Tokyo having qualified for three individual events, the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly, in addition to relay team possibilities.
During the Olympic trials in June to secure his individual spots, he set a record for the fastest 100-meter butterfly swum on American soil.
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