Caeleb Dressel of Team USA swam to gold in the 100m butterfly at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, putting on a strong performance. The 24-year-old American won with a world record time of 49.45 seconds, beating his previous best by 0.05 seconds. There were no Rio medalists in the final, which meant that the 100m butterfly would have a new Olympic champion.
The American swimmer and Hungary’s Kristof Milak were expected to compete for gold. The Hungarian, who won the 200m butterfly gold, also won the first 100m butterfly semi-final, setting an Olympic record. Dressel, on the other hand, swam even faster in the second semi-final, claiming the Olympic record for himself.
Nothing was left to chance for the American. He had the fastest reaction time at the start of the race and was 0.65 seconds ahead of the pack by the halfway point. Dressel won his third gold medal of the Tokyo Games after finishing 0.23 seconds ahead of Milak in the final. Milak won silver in 49.68 seconds, which was also a European record and faster than the previous world record.
“I am smiling finally. It was hard, but I had a good race against such noble rivals,” said the Hungarian swimmer philosophically.
“This is a fair result. That was the maximum I could give. I am happy that Caeleb [Dressel] needed a world record to beat me.”
World Championships silver medallist Andrei Minakov of ROC and Switzerland’s Noe Ponti battled for the bronze medal.
Ponti was in fourth place at 50m, while Minakov was in joint silver-medal position with Milak.
The Swiss swimmer made a final push for home, overtaking Minakov and collecting the bronze in 50.74. Minakov finished 0.14 seconds later in 50.88.
“It is really a dream come true, I’ve never felt this way before,” said the Swiss swimmer. “I think I’m dreaming – it’s like living a dream.
“Before this Olympics, the goal was to make the semifinal.
“Today I knew that I could make a medal: I gave it my all until the last stroke.”