Dressel Lowers 100 Free American Record To 47.17, Strikes Gold


After breaking the eight-year-old 100 free American record leading off the 400 free relay on day 1, Caeleb Dressel did it once again in the final of the individual event, striking gold.

Coming into the meet Dressel held a PB of 47.91, set at the Olympics, but he blew the doors open with a 47.26 lead-off to erase David Walters‘ 2009 mark of 47.33 off the books.

On day 4 he qualified 2nd through to the final in 47.66, and with the pressure on he didn’t flinch. Dressel was out two one-hundredths slower than his lead-off leg in 22.31, but stormed home in 24.86 to win the gold medal by a whopping seven tenths of a second in 47.17. He was the fastest man opening up, and only Australian Jack Cartwright (24.85), who placed 7th, came back faster.

He maintains his position as the 7th fastest performer in history, but gets on the board of top performances in history with the 10th fastest of all-time, and 3rd fastest post-2009.

Check out a comparison of Dressel’s splits in his two American record performances:

  • Dressel – 400 FR Relay lead-off: 22.29 / 24.97 = 47.26
  • Dressel – 100 FR Final: 22.31 / 24.86 = 47.17

Behind Dressel, fellow American Nathan Adrian closed strong in 24.90 to run-down France’s Mehdy Metella and win the silver in 47.87 to Metella’s 47.89. Cameron McEvoy, the fastest ever in a textile at 47.04, took 4th in 47.92.

The 20-year-old Dressel wins his first ever individual World Championship medal, and gives the U.S. the 100 free World title for the first time since 2001 when Anthony Ervin won gold in Fukuoka.

Now three golds deep, Dressel still has a hefty schedule left with the 50 free and 100 fly individually, as well as the men’s 4×100 medley, and potentially the mixed 4×100 free and men’s 4×200 free.

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Lim kheng guan
5 years ago

Dressel will beat schooling in the 100 fly.. No joke

5 years ago

So I’m thinking a world record could realistically happen in the next few years, what do you all think???

M Palota
Reply to  Matterson
5 years ago

46.9 is a crazy, crazy time. That’s so fast. You never know and never say never but I think the men’s 50 and 100 free WR are going to stand through 2020.

I do think, though, that we’re going to start to see a whole bunch of 47.7-ish and better. Going out on a limb here but I’ll say it’ll take 48.5 to make the semis in Tokyo and a 47.8 to make finals.

Reply to  M Palota
5 years ago

why is so easy for women to broke the record, and yet so difficult for men to do so?

Reply to  lilaswimmer
5 years ago

Because the lower the times are, the harder they are to beat. Especially sprint freestyles from the 2009 super suit era.

The Dressler
Reply to  lilaswimmer
5 years ago

It’s not ‘so easy’ let’s be real here. However, the men went from full body suits to jammers after 2009. The women, for obvious reasons, still wear fast suits that cover most of their bodies.

Reply to  lilaswimmer
5 years ago

This is completely speculation, but olympic male swimmers are typically very muscular and dense, which doesn’t do too well in water. The super suits really helped with the buoyancy of the swimmers which would affect the men more than the women.

Reply to  M Palota
5 years ago

Yeah I’m thinking sub 48 will become more common, but sub 47.5 will be difficult and special when it happens. Sub 47 seemed super human to me for a really long time, but I’m starting to think it could be possible.

You could be right though, I don’t think it would be a surprise to have the current world record last through 2020.

5 years ago

That’s almost a full second improvement in one meet.

Reply to  Dave
5 years ago

1.00 sec = wr 😉

5 years ago

I want to put him in a supersuit just to see what happens..

Reply to  xman
5 years ago


5 years ago

I’m happy to eat my words that the winner would be a 47.5…congrats Dressel!

Caeleb dressel\'s occupied stall
5 years ago

Scary because his turn could be cleaned up a little bit. Regardless, schooling is shaking in his boots for that fly

5 years ago

Broke the American record, the A relay kiss of death. Looks like he’s off it.

Reply to  Coachy
5 years ago

Okay, Mallory. We get it.

expert coach
5 years ago

so cool to see young american sprinters doing so well. with him and Michael Andrew and Ryan Hoffer the US will be set for a long time!

Reply to  expert coach
5 years ago

Hopper maybe….has MA even gone sub 50? His age peers Cartwright and Chalmers have gone sub 48…

Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

MA went 49.97 at US Nationals. Also had a 22.03 in the 50, with the WJR at 22.00. He’s doing OK.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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