GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — Exhaustion and reduction flooded Caeleb Dressel. Possibly now the comparisons with Michael Phelps can fade away.
Dressel gained eight medals, together with six golds, on the world swimming championships, the largest meet outdoors the Olympics. Two years in the past in Hungary, he tied Phelps’ file of seven golds at a single worlds, together with three in a single evening.
Dressel set his personal customary in Gwangju, the place he once more gained three golds in a single evening.
“There’s components through the meet the place it isn’t the best feeling — the stress that you just really feel, the strain I placed on myself,” he stated, including, “I do get pleasure from it, the problem that it brings.”
On Sunday, Dressel capped his eight-day run with silver within the 4×100-meter medley relay. He hauled the U.S. from fourth to first on his butterfly leg with a break up of 49.28 seconds — the one sub-50 second fly leg within the subject.
Had anchor Nathan Adrian not been overtaken by Britain’s Duncan Scott within the closing meters, Dressel would have gained a seventh gold. Adrian and relay teammates Ryan Murphy and Andrew Wilson had been upset they did not ship.
“I used to be the primary man within the water and I’d say I had a fairly embarrassing efficiency,” Murphy stated. “It sort of put us in a gap from the start.”
Wilson added, “All of us are simply discovering locations the place it is on us. We simply all must be higher and we can be subsequent yr. It is irritating now but it surely’s gasoline for the following yr.”
Heading into its first Olympics within the post-Phelps period, the U.S. seems in fine condition for Tokyo.
After a sluggish begin in Gwangju, the People completed with 27 medals within the pool, together with a number one 14 golds. They gained the workforce title and Dressel earned male swimmer of the meet honors. The U.S. set 5 world data, together with two by 17-year-old backstroker Regan Smith.
Australia was second with 19 and 5 golds.
The U.S. probably would have had two extra medals if Katie Ledecky hadn’t gotten sick. She withdrew from the 200 free heats and 1,500 free ultimate whereas spending two days away from the pool. Her lone gold got here within the 800 free after a gutsy final lap wherein she pulled away from Italy’s Simona Quadarella.
The People had been restricted to at least one medal on two totally different nights — each earned with Dressel’s involvement.
“It is fairly evident that we did not begin on the perfect observe,” stated sprinter Simone Manuel, who swept the 50-100 freestyles, “but in addition we did have an important meet, and I believe that is getting a little bit misplaced as a result of we had wonderful swims, individuals received greatest instances.”
Dressel’s golds got here within the 50 and 100 free, 50 and 100 butterfly, combined 4×100 free relay and 4×100 free relay. His different silver was within the combined 4×100 medley relay.
Dressel took down Phelps’ world file within the 100 fly, going 49.50 within the semifinals.
He got here shut in Hungary, however did not get it achieved.
“Two years in the past I used to be a little bit scared, I will admit, coming that shut,” Dressel stated. “It may be a scary thought to do one thing that is by no means been achieved earlier than.”
The distinction in Gwangju was that Dressel awakened the day of the race and wished to go after the mark.
“I hope he was glad watching me,” he stated.
Dressel nonetheless feels his retired teammate’s affect. He is aware of the 23-time Olympic gold medalist’s instances and watched how Phelps swam his races.
“It is actually particular for me simply to have that one little second the place I claimed I used to be the perfect within the historical past of swimming,” Dressel stated. “Only a younger child from a small city, it is simply loopy how far the game can go.”
Like Phelps, Dressel is his personal worst critic. The 22-year-old Floridian picks aside every of his races, whether or not the result’s gold, a world file or one thing much less lofty.
“I at all times search for the unhealthy,” he stated. “There’s lots to enhance on. I do know what to search for heading into subsequent yr, even for small meets. I take every occasion and I’ve to study from it.”
What he discovered in Gwangju is that he is his personal man.
Extra AP swimming protection: https://apnews.com/tag/Swimming