Swimming Highlights: Dressel, McKeon and Males's Relay Workforce Win Gold

Swimming Highlights: Dressel, McKeon and Males's Relay Workforce Win Gold

TOKYO — The medals, dozens of them, arrived in singles and in bunches, briefly races and lengthy ones, in medleys and relays. However daily, it appeared, the US and Australia tossed a number of extra on the pile. Sunday was no totally different.

Emma McKeon of Australia turned the second girl to win seven medals in a single Olympics, and Caeleb Dressel and Bobby Finke of the US added extra gold medals to the American haul on a frantic ultimate day of the swimming competitors on the Tokyo Aquatics Heart.

The US completed the meet by profitable the lads’s 4×100-meter medley relay in world-record time, extending an American unbeaten streak within the occasion. The victory additionally gave Dressel, who received the lads’s 50 freestyle in Sunday’s opening race, his fifth gold medal of the Video games.

Dressel, 24, turned solely the fifth American to win 5 golds in a single Video games, becoming a member of a listing that features among the best Olympians within the nation’s historical past: the speedskater Eric Heiden and the swimmers Mark Spitz, Matt Biondi and Michael Phelps. (Phelps achieved the feat thrice.)

“I’m pleased with myself,” Dressel mentioned afterward. “I really feel like I reached what my potential was at these Video games, and it was actually enjoyable racing.”

The American swimmers completed the Olympic meet with 30 whole medals, down from the 33 they received in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. And their ultimate whole of 11 gold medals fell in need of the 16 they took dwelling from the final Video games.

In some methods, then, the workforce has regarded like a gaggle in transition. Afterward, the coaches mentioned they hoped their younger athletes had gained precious expertise for the following Olympics, now solely three years away.

“In fact we’d like to have extra golds right here, identical to we’d like to have extra medals on the whole,” mentioned Greg Meehan, the ladies’s workforce coach. “I believe we had 4 fourth locations.”

McKeon, 27, had began the day realizing {that a} top-three end in her two races — the 50 free and the 4×100 medley relay — would make her solely the second girl, after the Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya in 1952, to win seven medals at a single Olympics. By day’s finish, she had received gold in each.

In her first race, McKeon emerged from a extremely aggressive subject to take gold within the ladies’s 50 freestyle, ending with a time of 23.81 seconds, an Olympic file. Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden was second (24.07 seconds) and Pernille Blume of Denmark, who received gold in 2016, took third (24.21). Abbey Weitzeil, the one American within the ultimate, completed final.

Later, within the ladies’s 4×100 medley relay, Australia received the gold medal with a time of three:51.60. The American ladies, who received gold within the occasion on the 2016 Video games, settled for the silver. Canada took the bronze.

McKeon erased a small U.S. lead along with her butterfly leg, and Cate Campbell delivered the ultimate contact after a robust closing freestyle. Whereas McKeon picked up her seventh medal — and her fourth gold — within the race, Campbell collected her fourth. She completed the Video games with three golds and a bronze.

McKeon mentioned the day had felt surreal. “To be in that type of firm, it’s an honor,” she mentioned of tying a file for medals at a single Video games. “And I do know I’ve labored onerous for it.”

Her whole ran Australia’s medal rely to twenty, with 9 golds, which means that the Aussies and the People collectively had received almost half of the medals accessible (50, of 105) and greater than half the golds.

Wedged between among the superstars of the game, Finke, 21, had been a relative unknown earlier than this month. On Sunday, he received his second gold medal by prevailing within the males’s 1,500-meter freestyle after an intense three-man showdown with Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine and Florian Wellbrock of Germany.

Finke hung shut for a lot of the race after which propelled himself into the lead along with his ultimate flip. Discovering a brand new gear after 29 relentlessly regular laps, he beat his rivals to the wall. He completed in 14 minutes 39.65 seconds, a physique size forward of Romanchuk (14:40.66) and Wellbrock (14:40.91).

His victory, and Katie Ledecky’s within the ladies’s occasion, gave the US a sweep of the grueling 30-lap swimming marathons, the longest races within the competitors.

“I don’t know the way I’m going to have the ability to course of issues,” Finke mentioned afterward. “I got here into to this meet probably not anticipating to medal for something.”

Dressel had entered the meet with a lot increased expectations. He opened the session by profitable his fourth gold medal of the Video games with a lung-busting dash to victory within the 50 free. Diving off the blocks, he surfaced within the lead and by no means gave it up — or took a breath — as he completed in 21.07 seconds, an Olympic file. Florent Manaudou of France completed second in 21.55 seconds, and Bruno Fratus of Brazil (21.57) got here in third.

When Dressel realized that he had received, he flexed his left bicep after which hustled out of the pool to arrange for the day’s ultimate race, the 4×100 medley relay.

Dressel had entered the pool Sunday having already received three gold medals on the Video games, within the 4×100 freestyle relay, the 100 free and the 100 butterfly. His time within the 100 butterfly, 49.45 seconds, was additionally a world file.

Historical past was on the road within the ultimate occasion, the lads’s 4×100 medley relay. The American males entered the competitors having received gold in each Olympics that they had competed in — they didn’t take part in 1980, when the US boycotted the Moscow Olympics — and stored the streak alive with a world file, profitable simply in 3:26.78.

Regardless of their dominance, the People had entered the race as underdogs. The People had almost missed the ultimate, actually, qualifying seventh with a unique set of swimmers. That left the group that strode onto the deck for the ultimate — Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew, Dressel and Zach Apple — in an outdoor place, in Lane 1, however with a better-than-outside shot.

Dave Durden, the top coach of the lads’s workforce, mentioned he knew the workforce had a shot when he checked out splits from the earlier world-record time and noticed that every of the American males was individually able to beating them.

“All we wished them to do was swim at their stage,” mentioned Durden, who added that Dressel’s earlier swim had freed him mentally to carry out nicely within the relay.

Murphy, the world-record holder within the 100 backstroke, staked the People to an early lead, earlier than Adam Peaty of Britain, the world’s quickest man within the breaststroke, instantly erased the benefit by the race’s midway mark.

However the People have been simply too deep. Dressel powered again within the butterfly, and Apple stored the US streak alive with a powerful closing freestyle leg. Britain received the silver and Italy took the bronze.

After a grueling week and a half of swimming, and an Olympic cycle that lasted 5 years as an alternative of 4, Dressel joked that he was able to go dwelling.

“I’m going to take a bit of break right here,” he mentioned, laughing. “I’m fairly over swimming, guys.”

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