Dressel Shatters 100 Butterfly Olympic Record in 49.71, Milak Under Old Record


  • When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
    • Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
  • Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
  • Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
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American Caeleb Dressel broke the Olympic Record in the 100 butterfly for the second time in less than 24 hours, shortly after Hungarian Kristof Milak also took down the mark. 

During prelims, Dressel swam a time of 50.39 to tie former Bolles’ School teammate Joseph Schooling’s Olympic Record. 

Then, during tonight’s first semifinal, Milak, the 200 butterfly world record holder, took down Dressel’s mark with a time of 50.31. For Milak, his swim came just a tenth over his best time of 50.18, putting himself in strong contention for a medal in the final. 

However, Milak’s record did not last for long as Dressel brought it into a new territory in the second semifinal. Pushing world record pace the entire race, Dressel posted a time of 49.71 to outpace the rest of the field by a half second. 

Splits Comparison:

Caeleb Dressel – 2020 Olympic Games Semifinal 2 Kristof Milak – 2020 Olympic Games Semifinal 1 Caeleb Dressel– 2020 Olympic Games Prelims
Joseph Schooling – 2016 Olympic Games
1st 50 23.2 23.74 23.85 23.64
2nd 50 26.51 26.57 26.54 26.75
Final time 49.71 50.31 50.39 50.39

Although Milak and Dressel both closed in 26.5, Dressel was out significantly faster at the 50 meter mark with his time of 23.2. Dressel is notorious for his opening speed, which paid off in this race.

Dressel’s time ranks as the 3rd fastest swim in history, only trailing his own performances. 

Top-5 Swims All-Time:

    1. Caeleb Dressel 49.50 (2019) 
    2. Caeleb Dressel: 49.66 (2019) 
    3. Caeleb Dressel: 49.71 (2021)
    4. Caeleb Dressel: 49.76 (2021)
    5. Michael Phelps: 49.82 (2009)

In prelims, Dressel was coming off of an emotional 100 freestyle final, where he won his first individual Olympic gold medal and set a new Olympic Record. During his post race interview, Dressel was tearful while seeing his family over FaceTime. 


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1 month ago

Mans was barely breathing at the end. Looked like Milak after the 2fly semis.

1 month ago

Isn’t he illegal when he touch?
He may violate SW 8.5 “The swimmer must remain on the surface until the next turn or finish”

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is an active …

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