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SportBadmintonDressel, Emma end in blaze of glory

Dressel, Emma end in blaze of glory

Published: 1st Aug 2021 7:07 pm

Tokyo: Caeleb Dressel finished off his gold rush at the Tokyo Olympics with two more dazzling swims. The guy who dreads all the attention won’t be able to escape it now. He’s one of the greatest Olympians ever.

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“I’m really glad to be done,” said the tattooed, 24-year-old Floridian, who captured his fourth and fifth gold medals of the Tokyo Games on Sunday.

Australia’s Emma McKeon put her own remarkable stamp on the record book with a staggering haul of hardware.

McKeon won two more golds and became the first female swimmer — and second woman in any sport — to claim seven medals at one Olympics. Four of them were gold, the other three bronze.

“It’s going to take a little bit to sink in,” said McKeon, a 27-year-old from Brisbane. “I’m very proud of myself.”

Dressel was perfect in the events he had a chance in, capping off his stunning week in the final race at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre by putting the Americans ahead to stay in the 4×100 medley relay on their way to a world record.

In his first race Sunday, he cruised to a relatively easy victory in the 50 freestyle. By the time Dressel was done, he had entered an elite club of swimmers who won at least five gold medals at one games. Michael Phelps did it three times, of course, highlighted by his record eight golds at the 2008 Beijing Games.

There’s also Mark Spitz (seven golds in 1972), East German Kristin Otto (six golds in 1988) and Matt Biondi (five golds, also in ’88). Make room for Dressel, who made it look so easy. It wasn’t.

“It’s not the most enjoyable process, but it is worth it,” he said. “I’m pretty over swimming at the moment.”

Mirroring Dressel’s final day, McKeon won the 50 free and took the butterfly leg on the Aussies’ winning effort in the women’s 4×100 medley relay.

The only event Dressel failed to win all week was the new 4×100 mixed medley relay, though that was no fault on his own.

The last morning at the pool started with another romp in the 50 free — Dressel’s third individual title of the games.

After diving in, he used his dolphin-like underwater technique to pop out of the water with the clear lead, just as he always does. In a race usually decided by a few hundredths of a second, he touched a half-body length ahead of the field in an Olympic record of 21.07 seconds.

McKeon completed her own sweep of the freestyle sprints, touching in an Olympic-record 23.81 to add the 50 title to her victory in the 100. In the medley relay, McKeon entered truly rarified territory. She took the butterfly leg before Cate Campbell rallied the Aussies to a victory over the two-time defending champion Americans.

In keeping with the theme of the day, Bobby Finke pulled off his own sweep in the two longest freestyle races.


Men: 50m Freestyle: 1. Caeleb Dressel (USA) 21.07s (Olympic record), 2. Florent Manaudou (France), 3. Bruno Fratus (Brazil); 1500m Freestyle: 1. Robert Finke (USA), 2. Mykhailo Romanchuk (Ukraine), 3. Florian Wellbroack (Germany). 4x100m Medley Relay: 1. USA 3:26.78 (world record), 2. Great Britain, 3. Italy

Women: 50m Freestyle: Emma McKeon (Australia) 23.81 (OR), 2. Sarah Sjoestroem (Sweden), 3. Pernille Blume (Denmark); 4x100m Medley Relay: 1. Australia 3:51.60s (OR), 2. USA, 3. Canada

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