The 22-year-old from the University of Florida went on an absolute tear in Gwangju, South Korea during the World Championships and even Phelps himself was in awe.
Dressel won his eighth medal in the pool this week after helping the United States clinch silver in the 4x100-meter medley relay only one night after winning three gold medals for himself. That’s a feat Phelps never attempted — and one Dressel has now accomplished twice. The previous occurred during the 2017 event in Hungary where the swimmer also tied Phelps’ record of seven gold medal wins at worlds.
He’ll leave South Korea in 2019 with gold in the 50 and 100 free, 50 and 100 butterfly, mixed 4x100 free relay and 4x100 free relay. Only a difference of about 1.5 seconds separated Dressel from a seventh gold medal this week. In the 4x100 medley relay, American Nathan Adrian got passed by Britain in the closing meters, but he held off Russia to secure the second spot on the podium.
"Part of me is very happy," Dressel told media in Gwangju. "Part of me wants to cry that I'm done with it. I've got pimples on my face from just the stress of the meet. I'm probably losing some hair."
U.S. women shatter 4x100 medley relay record
When only one swimmer can fit in the TV camera frame, it’s safe to assume a world record is about to fall. Simone Manuel, Regan Smith, Lilly King and Kelsi Dahlia did that with ease in the 4x100 medley relay with a finish of 3:50.4 to secure the gold and knock 1.15 seconds off the world record. Records were dropping before the race was even halfway over.
Smith’s first leg backstroke split of 57.57 topped the previous mark of 58.00 and put the U.S. way out in front of a race the Americans had nearly finished celebrating before a silver medal winner had even been awarded.
By the time King dove in for the third leg breath stroke, she had a full body-length lead.
Only a year away from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, it’s clear the Americans will be the team to beat in the pool once again.
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