Dressel continues winning ways in worlds
Caeleb Dressel was a half-second off the world record as he took world championship gold in the men's 50m butterfly in 22.57 seconds, as the US enjoyed a dominant second day at the world swimming championships in Budapest.
"Feels good to get the first individual (gold) out of the way. It's always the most nerve-racking," said Dressel, who became the first American to win back-to-back world titles in the event on Sunday.
Dressel, who'd also struck gold on the opening day in the 4x100m freestyle relay, finished ahead of the remarkable 42-year-old Brazilian Nicholas Santos and American teammate Michael Andrew.
Andrew posted a personal best time to gain his first medal, and he reflected on Dressel's dominance.
"As much as he's a teammate, I always want to beat him. It's nice having a guy like him in a lot of the events I race because it pushes me to work that much harder," Andrew said.
"It wasn't a perfect race but certainly a fun one, really happy to get that first individual race over and done with," said Dressel.
"I definitely had the jitters today, especially in my hotel room, that's when it's the worst. But once I'm on the blocks that's as safe as I feel."
He pipped his rivals in a tight race with Santos becoming the first swimmer to claim a medal at the worlds after his 40th birthday.
Torri Huske and Alex Walsh also won for the US on Sunday.
The 19-year-old Huske improved on her own American record in the women's 100 butterfly, clocking 55.64 seconds.
Walsh clocked 2:07.13 in the women's 200 medley, the fifth fastest time ever posted, as she beat Australia's Kaylee McKeown for the gold.
It brought the Americans' medal tally to 12 altogether - five gold, one silver and six bronze, as they comfortably led the medals table ahead of the Australians, who have two gold and two silver.
The biggest cheers of the evening were for Hungarian hometown favourite Katinka Hosszu, the 2017 and 2019 champion, who placed seventh in what could be her last worlds at home.
She'll be 38 when Budapest next hosts the event in 2027.
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