Josh Liendo Talks Training With Dressel, Blistering Back Half In 47.55 100 Free


Josh Liendo unleashed one of the world’s fastest swims of the season in the men’s 100 freestyle final on Thursday at the Canadian Olympic Trials, matching his personal best time in 47.55.

The reigning NCAA champion in the 50 free, Liendo leaned on his natural speed to open up the early lead, flipping in 22.86, but really made a statement coming home, closing with a sizzling 24.69 split.

When he originally set his personal best time at the 2022 World Championships, Liendo split 22.64/24.91.

The 21-year-old was happy with his swim on Thursday, and will now look to dial in the opening 50 while maintaining that back-end speed on the way to Paris.

“Just execute. I was more focused on execution,” said Liendo. “I can usually just go and like, swim it out, but I really wanted to make sure I executed my details.  

“I wasn’t kind of over-swimming it, just kind of want to stay calm, be in that moment, so I think I handled that pretty well.

“I’m really good on back end now. I’m pretty happy with it. I want to keep that back end and obviously work on the front end now.

“I’m really happy to be that fast right now. And I should build that momentum. I think I can be faster. And obviously, that’s the goal going into Paris.”

Prior to matching his PB in the final, Liendo also went 47.80 in the prelims, quicker than he was in all of 2023. Last year, he was 47.86 at the Canadian Trials before going 48.03 at the World Championships.

Liendo has taken a big step forward this year, with his 100 free performance coming on the heels of sweeping the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly at the Men’s NCAA Championships in March.

The rising University of Florida junior compared where his goals lie now relative to the Tokyo Games in 2021, when he made his Olympic debut and was a semi-finalist in the 100 free and 100 fly.

“A lot,” he said on how much his priorities have changed compared to three years ago. “Last time around in the Olympics, my goal was kind of, try to get into a final. Try to make a semi.

Since Tokyo, Liendo has won four medals at the World Aquatics Championships, including a pair of individual bronzes in the 2022 in the 100 free and 100 fly and then a silver in the 100 fly last year in Fukuoka.

“Now I’m obviously challenging to be in that final. Once you’re in the final, everyone’s going for a podium. So that’s kind of my mindset right now. I want to be at the top with the best guys. I want to keep racing.”

Liendo also spoke on what it’s like to train alongside Caeleb Dressel, the defending Olympic champion in all three of Liendo’s primary events (50/100 free, 100 fly).

“It definitely helps a lot,” Liendo said on training alongside Dressel, noting he would have to go and check what Dressel went in the 100 free at the Atlanta Classic on Thursday (48.30, Dressel’s fastest in two years).

“You know, the best in the world. It’s good for me to work on technique, and I can kind of go against him and see how it works out.”

Liendo now sits 3rd in the world for the season in the 100 free, and will take aim at rising to the top of the rankings over the weekend with entries in the 50 free on Saturday and 100 fly on Sunday.

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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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