Dressel's First Individual Gold Highlights USA's 5 Medals in Pool


Caeleb Dressel and Bobby Finke each secured golds as the U.S. swim team earned five more medals on Wednesday night.

In search of his first individual medal from the Games, Dressel set an Olympic record while capturing gold in the men’s 100m freestyle. Finke made history by becoming the first men’s Olympic 800m freestyle champion.

Meanwhile, Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger both made the podium in the women’s 200m butterfly, with Smith taking silver and Flickinger bronze. The U.S. women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team ended the night with a second-place finish, thanks to some heroics from anchor Katie Ledecky.

Here’s a full look back at what was an eventful night for Team USA:

Dressel sets Olympic record in 100m win

This win was a sweet one for Dressel as it was his first time medalling in an individual Olympic swimming event. The 24-year-old was a favorite heading into the event after having won the men’s 100m freestyle at the last two world championships.

With an Olympic record time of 47.02, Dressel finished just ahead of Australia’s Kyle Chalmers (47.08), who won the silver, and third-place Kliment Kolesnikov (47.44) of the Russian Olympic Committee.

An emotional Dressel cried during the post-race interview: “I don’t know if it’s set in yet. Right now, I’m just kind of hurting. It’s a really tough year, it’s really hard, so to have the results show up, it really came together, so I’m happy.”

Dressel was seen still wiping away tears as his teammates applauded him on his trip back to the locker room.

After taking home two golds in Rio and winning another with the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team earlier this week in Tokyo, Dressel now has four Olympic gold medals.

Finke uses late surge to win 800m freestyle

The first-ever Olympic men’s 800m freestyle final featured a thrilling finish, as Finke came from behind late to win with a time of 7:41.87.

Finke, competing in his first Olympics, was in fourth at 750 meters but stormed to a first-place finish.

“I just really wanted to get my hand on the wall,” Finke said. “I’m just so happy I was able to switch into another gear.”

Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri, who led most of the race, won the silver medal with a time of 7:42.11. Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk finished in 7:42.33 to earn bronze.

Ledecky helps U.S. take silver in 4x200m freestyle relay

In a race that Australia was favored to win, China claimed gold in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay with a time of 7:40.33. Ledecky helped to bring home silver for the United States (7:40.73), while Australia (7:41.29) had to settle for bronze.

All three teams that reached the podium beat the event’s previous world record.

It was the third time Ledecky and Australia’s Ariarne Titmus had met in the Tokyo Games, and this time it was Ledecky who was dominant. While Ledecky could not catch China’s Li Bingjie in the anchor spot, she passed Australia in the last leg to win second place for the U.S.

Titmus swam first to put Australia in the lead, and was followed by the country’s other best freestyler, Emma McKeon, but the team failed to hold back China.

Swimming in the third spot for China was Zhang Yufei, who an hour earlier had set an Olympic record in the women’s 200m butterfly.

Ledecky now has three medals in Tokyo after winning gold in the 1500m freestyle and silver in the 400m freestyle.

Smith, Flickinger finish 2-3 in 200m butterfly

The United States had not won a medal in the 200m butterfly since 2000. That ended with Smith and Flickinger.

Smith finished the race in 2:05.30, just beating out Flickinger (2:05.65) for silver. Zhang Yufei set an Olympic record to win with a time of 2:03.86. 

Zhang also brought home China’s first swimming gold medal at the Tokyo Games. Named the “new butterfly queen” by Chinese media, she finished second in the 100m butterfly on Sunday.

The pair of U.S. swimmers each increased their Tokyo medal counts to two. Smith won bronze in the 100m backstroke and Flickinger won bronze in the 400m individual medley

Nic Fink doesn’t medal in 200m breaststroke

In the men’s 200m breaststroke final, American Nic Fink finished fifth with a time of 2:07.93, less than a second outside of the medals.

Australian Izaac Stubblety-Cook won the gold medal in 2:06.38, setting a new Olympic record. Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands got silver and Matti Mattson of Finland brought home the bronze.

Anton Chupkov, the Russian world record holder for the event, also finished just outside the medals, coming in fourth.

Murphy, King among six U.S. swimmers to qualify for medal races

Team USA had at least one swimmer qualify in each of the four semifinal events that took place Wednesday night.

Ryan Murphy, who won bronze in the men’s 100m backstroke, posted the third best semifinal time in the 200m backstroke. Bryce Mefford also qualified for the final after placing sixth overall.

In the women’s 200m breaststroke, Annie Lazor and Lilly King posted the third and fifth best times respectively. King will be going for her second medal in Tokyo after winning bronze in the 100m breaststroke.

Abbey Weitzeil went through to the final in the women’s 100m freestyle after finishing seventh overall.

Michael Andrew locked down a spot in the men’s 200m individual medley final by recording the fourth best time. But Chase Kalisz, the gold medal winner in the 400m individual medley, failed to qualify for the 200m IM final.

The medal races for each of those events are on Thursday, with the action starting at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC and streaming here:

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