North America: U.S. Sweep 100 Free Titles For First Time Since 1991


The American sprint freestylers have been making history all week.

First, the U.S. swept the 400 free relays at the World Championships for the first time since 1991, compiling numerous titles in the years since but never claiming them simultaneously until they got the job done on day 1.

Then, Caeleb Dressel won the 100 free, the first American title since Anthony Ervin in 2001. Nathan Adrian‘s runner-up also gave the U.S. men their first 1-2 finish since 1978.

The momentum continued today, as Simone Manuel captured 100 free gold over the heavily favored world record holder for the second straight major championship. In Rio, Manuel tied Penny Oleksiak in 52.70 to defeat Cate Campbell, who had broken the world record earlier in the year at 52.06.

This time around it was Sarah Sjostrom, who broke the world record at the beginning of the meet, leading off the Swedish relay in 51.71. However, come the final Manuel thrived once again. She ran down the Swede with a tantalizing back-half, winning gold in an American record of 52.27.

That gave the U.S. the women’s 100 free world title for the first time since 1998, when Jenny Thompson took gold in Perth. It was also the first time the Americans swept the 100 free, winning both the male and female titles, since 1991, when Matt Biondi and Nicole Haislett won gold.

That is some serious history, as U.S. sprinting seems to be in good hands after many suggested they were in trouble not so long ago. In 2015, they didn’t medal in either 100 freestyle event at the World Championships, and the American men didn’t even final in the 400 free relay.

Dressel has proven to be the best male sprinter in the world at this meet, and Manuel seems to be immune to pressure. The two, who have both have one year remaining in college, will lead the American sprint freestyle charge for years to come. They’re certainly in good hands.




  • Gold – Simone Manuel – Women’s 100 Freestyle (52.27)
  • Silver – Ryan Murphy – Men’s 200 Backstroke (1:54.21)
  • Silver – Bethany Galat – Women’s 200 Breaststroke (2:21.77)
  • Bronze – Jacob Pebley – Men’s 200 Backstroke (1:55.06)
  • Bronze – USA (Pieroni, Haas, Conger, Grothe) – Men’s 4×200 Free (7:03.18)


  • Women’s 200 Back: Masse (CAN), Baker (USA), Smith (USA), Caldwell (CAN)
  • Men’s 50 Free: Dressel (USA)
  • Men’s 100 Fly: Dressel (USA)
  • Women’s 50 Fly: Worrell (USA), Oleksiak (CAN)


Rank Federation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States of AmericaUnited States of America 10 10 5 25
2  CanadaCanada 1 0 1 2

Day 6 saw the Americans add five medals, led by Manuel’s gold. They now hold a 16-medal lead over China in terms of total medals, and their ten golds leads Great Britain by six.

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Justin Thompson

If anyone seemed like a lock going into the meet it was Sjostrom in that 100 free considering the swims she’s put up this past month and the WR on the relay leadoff. What a swim by Simone.

Tyler jons

Sjostrom is washed. Breaks the wr and then can’t even touch that relatively slow record the next day. USA ROCKS GO SIMONE!!

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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