Caeleb Dressel smashes Olympic record to win 50m freestyle

Caeleb Dressel of Team United States reacts after winning the gold medal and breaking the olympic record in the Men’s 50m Freestyle Final on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on August 01, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Caeleb Dressel of Team United States reacts after winning the gold medal and breaking the olympic record in the Men’s 50m Freestyle Final on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on August 01, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Team USA’s Caeleb Dressel wins fourth gold of Tokyo Games with 50m freestyle title

Caeleb Dressel smashed the Olympic record to win 50m freestyle.

The American swimmer touched the wall in a time of 21.07, shaving 0.23 off the previous mark set by Brazil’s Cesar Cielo in 2008.

The win gave Dressel his fourth gold medal of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the USA’s 27th in the pool.

The medal "means a lot" to Dresel.

"It means as lot. That was the first race [50m freestyle] to kick start my swim career, since I was a kid, so it has come full circle.

"I remember watching Manaudou [Florent Manaudou of France] win that in London, so it's crazy.

"I remember watching him on TV, so it's an honour to be able to race him and to get my hand on the wall first in such a stacked field with guys I have been watching as a kid, so it's fun.

"It's so surreal, the whole moment, I am just trying to take it in. The whole Tokyo 2020, the rings, being on the podium - I am trying to take everything in as much as I can."

Despite not having the fastest reaction time in the field, Dressel quickly moved to the front in the pool at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

And in a race that is usually decided by hundredths of a second, Dressel stormed to finish 0.48 seconds ahead of Manaudou, who gets the silver medal, with a time of 21.55.

Brazil’s Bruno Fratus was close behind, claiming the bronze in 21.57.

“Winning bronze releases a lot of pressure that was on my back," said Fratus. "For the past few weeks I’ve been in my own bubble.

"I’ve been off social media, so to win the bronze medal is great.”

The sacrifice appears to be worth it for the Brazilian as he made it to the podium.

"I’m so pleased to step on the podium with Caeleb [Dressel] and Florent [Manaudou], two of the best swimmers in history.

"Caeleb has all the potential to beat Michael Phelps’ (records) one day, who knows?

"And Florent is a beast, a monster and one of the best in history.”