Caeleb Dressel Posts World Textile Best Of 21.04 As He Wins 50m Freestyle Gold: Fratus & Gkolomeev Tie For Silver (Race Video)

Caeleb Dressel of the United States of America (USA) reacts after winning in the men's 50m Freestyle Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 27 July 2019.
Caeleb Dressel Photo Courtesy: PATRICK B. KRAEMER

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FINA World Swimming Championships

Gwangju 2019

Day Seven Finals (Men’s 50m Freestyle)

Caeleb Dressel swam the fastest 50m freestyle in textile when he won gold in 21.04secs at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

The Team USA swimmer was irresistible, surging past 2017 bronze medallist Ben Proud to his left in lane three after the Briton had made his customary lightning start to touch with clear distance at the head of the field.

He became the third-fastest man in history behind only Cesar Cielo and his world record of 20.91 and Fred Bousquet (20.94) with both men’s times set in the supersuit era of 2009 which has so skewed history.

In so doing, Dressel leapfrogged Proud who set the world textile best of 21.11 at last year’s European Championships in Glasgow.

It was a second successive title in the splash and dash for Dressel who has five golds and a silver medal so far this week.

It was also the biggest margin of victory in worlds history with the American 0.41secs ahead of the field, surpassing the 0.39secs that separated Cielo from his challengers in Shanghai in 2011.

The 22-year-old was just as swift once leaving the pool with little more than half an hour before his 100m butterfly final as he dashed to warm down in the diving pit before returning to take his second gold of the night.

Dressel identified much to improve upon in his race, notably his start.

He said: “Every time I do a race I always look for the bad, that’s just how I work.

“My start was so bad, I wish I could have that one back. There’s plenty to improve on. I know what to look for headed into next year even in small meets throughout the year I know what to work on, not only for the 50 free, but the 100 fly, even the 100 free on the relay tonight. I take each event and I have to learn from it.

“Start was not good, I wish I had it back but I don’t. I got my hand on the wall first, that is the goal here. I did go a best time so I am happy with that but there’s room to improve.”

Bruno Fratus repeated his second spot from 2017 – and his third medal in a row – albeit in a tie with Kristian Gkolomeev, who won Greece’s first medal in this event with the pair inseparable on 21.45. Vladimir Morozov was fourth in 21.53 with Proud one place back in 21.55.

It was a first global medal for 26-year-old Gkolomeev a year after he won silver behind Proud at the European Championships.

“It’s really good,” he said. “I had an amazing race. I really wanted to get on the podium. I really went for it, I was really focused and second place, it’s my first medal in World Championships so I’m really, really happy.”
The medal was also testament to his persistence.
“It feels amazing. Last year I was second at Europeans and in 2015 and 2017 World Championships I was in the final and got seventh. This year it worked out really well and got the second place so I’m really happy with the result.”
Gkolomeev raced against Dressel when he was at Alabama and the American has given him added inspiration ahead of Tokyo 2020.
“It feels good. It feels good to be back. Caeleb is an amazing athlete, we learn from him, he is really really good. That medal gives me the energy to continue for next year, the Olympic year.”
He plans to train under David Marsh in San Diego, saying: “I’m training in Greece for the whole year. I’ve been waiting for my green card and from probably September to October I will be there.”
Where Gkolomeev waxed lyrical, Fratus was a little more circumspect.
“I got a World Championships silver in 2017. In 2018 they put four screws around my shoulder. In 2019 I came back for a silver again,” he said. “It’s still a little slower than I wish I had swum but I can’t complain about that. I’m on my third podium in a row. Just keep going, keep working.”
There may, the Brazilian conceded, be changes ahead of the Olympics in Tokyo.
“It’s a little early to be accurate on that but we certainly want to be looking to it.”

50 Free Results:

  1. 21.04, Caeleb Dressel, USA
  2. 21.45, Bruno Fratus, BRA
  3. 21.45, Kristian Gkolomeev, GRE
  4. 21.53, Vladimir Morozov, RUS
  5. 21.55, Ben Proud, GBR
  6. 21.62, Michael Andrew, USA
  7. 21.67, Pawel Juraszek, POL
  8. 21.81, Shinri Shioura, JPN

11 comments

  1. Jaclyn Kile

    Jill Massie-Braun Stacy Skeen Kirkpatrick …just WOW!

  2. Wendy Morrison

    Cannot wait to see him in the Olympics!!!! I

  3. Ovando Brown

    Michael Mastropasqua Tommy Hamilton the Olympics are going to be insane if he keeps this up

  4. Dave Hoover

    Anybody know what kind of vertical jump Dressel can do? His starts and first 10-15 meters in water are just so explosive and light years better than anyone in the business….also, after seeing that time, I wonder if Florent Manaudou will just forget about it for 2020?

    • Dave Hoover

      Ryan Van Der Walt thanks, I wouldn’t doubt it.

  5. Ja Bounce

    Stroke count around 33ish (hard to tell just after start.) Crazy!!