NA: Dressel Secures First U.S. 100 Free World Title Since 2001


Unlike some of the events where the U.S. men have reigned supreme, such as the backstrokes, butterfly’s and IMs, the sprint freestyle events have consistently had a wider spread of champions and medalists worldwide.

When Caeleb Dressel crushed the men’s 100 free final tonight in Budapest, lowering his own American record in 47.17, he became the first American, male or female, to win the 100m free world title since 2001.

That year marked the only time Anthony Ervin won a major international medal in the 100, as he used his blinding speed to get out ahead and managed to hold off Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband (despite a timing error that initially had the Dutchman winning).

For the American women, they haven’t won since Jenny Thompson did in 1998. However, we can’t forget about Simone Manuel‘s 2016 Olympic triumph, or for that matter Nathan Adrian‘s in 2012.

However, Dressel looks to be solidifying himself as the next great superstar in men’s freestyle sprinting. He won the title by a full seven tenths of a second, the biggest margin of victory since 1986, when American Matt Biondi (48.94) defeated Frenchman Stephan Caron (49.73) by 79-one-hundredths.

Adrian came in for silver in 47.87, marking the first 1-2 for the U.S. men since 1978.

American sprinting is certainly in good hands as Dressel continues to stake his claim as the best male sprinter in the world right now.

He now has three gold medals in Budapest, with potentially five more opportunities. He’ll swim the 50 free and 100 fly individually, though the two coincide with each other, and will definitely swim fly on the men’s medley relay after his historic 49.9 split in the mixed event.

There’s a chance he could be used on the mixed 4×100 free relay, though that would entail him doing a triple during the finals session. He also qualified to swim the men’s 4×200 prelims, but will almost definitely be left off with 50 free and 100 fly prelims occurring shortly prior.


  • Chase Kalisz  won his first World Championship title in the men’s 200 IM, giving the U.S. eight straight titles in the event.
  • The U.S. women successfully defended the 4×200 free relay crown with their 4th straight title, topping China in 7:43.39.
  • Kathleen Baker missed her American record set yesterday by 0.02 in the women’s 50 back, putting up the 2nd fastest U.S. performance ever to take 5th place.



Rank Federation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States of AmericaUnited States of America 9 8 3 20
2  CanadaCanada 1 0 1 2

The Americans added three golds on day 5 to triple the next highest total of 3, which both Great Britain and China have. China has less than half their medal count of 20 with 8, sitting in 2nd place.

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crooked donald
5 years ago

Just think how fast he’d be if hadn’t gone to swim for Troy. Also, all that sprint breastroke. Lol

5 years ago

50 free- 21.2
100 fly- 50.3

Reply to  PVK
5 years ago

i want a 49!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply to  hmmm
5 years ago

I think he’ll stay on the cusp of the mythical 20/46/49…for now.

5 years ago

USA sprinting resurge with force.

5 years ago


5 years ago


5 years ago

Now…can he be the first textile swimmer under 47? I think…YES!!!

5 years ago

One step at a time.He is now the man to beat in the 100.Now, he will need to sustain that, not forgetting there are some young guns(like Chalmers and Cartwright) on his tail.

Reply to  DDias
5 years ago

I didn’t see Chalmers in the finals and Cartwright didn’t medal.

samuel huntington
Reply to  swim
5 years ago

Chalmers is out recovering from a surgery. Cartwright is two years younger and this was his first big meet.

Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

Dressel out swam both of them in the 100 free and will continue on this path of sprint domination.

Reply to  swim
5 years ago

My point is: They are BOTH younger than him.BOTH have starts and turns a lot worse than him.Right now, he is in a rare path to blast the best sprint double(50/100) in the same competition.
Sprints got so much specialized it is very rare to do a best 50 and a best 100 in the same competition, and I think Dressel is on the right path to do that.It is very hard to get at the top.It’s even harder to stay there.

Reply to  DDias
5 years ago

Proud has gone 21.3 and Fratus looked good in relay. That’s should be an interesting 50free, particularly since it coincides with the 100 fly.

Reply to  KeithM
5 years ago

Yeah, I think(besides Dressel, of course) Proud and Fratus are the ones to watch.Proud is always lowering his times(comparing with his trials) and I would not be surprised to see him doing 21.2.Fratus did six in season sub-22, what never happened before in his whole career.
It’s funny to see Cielo(a straight 3-time winner in four finals) as an underdog.

Aussie crawl
Reply to  swim
5 years ago

Chalmers had a heart operation about two months ago.
Was well published on this site.

Ex Quaker
Reply to  DDias
5 years ago

When you’re .18 out, that seems like the next step.

5 years ago

Definitely a possibility!

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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