Still Cool A Week Later: Watch Dressel’s 49.66 100 Butterfly From Under Water


No, this is not Caeleb Dressel‘s World Record performance in the 100 butterfly. That time, posted in the semifinals, stands at 49.50. This swim is from the finals when Dressel repeated as World Champion, posting the 2nd-fastest time ever in the 100 fly with a 49.66, still more than a second ahead of silver medalist Andrey Minakov from Russia.

Reported by James Sutherland:

One day after breaking a 10-year-old world record in the men’s 100 fly, Caeleb Dressel backed it up by winning the gold medal with the second-fastest swim in history.

Dressel claimed the final in a time of 49.66, just shy of his 49.50 from the semi-finals. He bumps his 50.36 from the Swim Meet of Champions last month out of the all-time top-10, as he still owns six of the top-10 swims ever, but now also seven of the fastest 11.

After becoming the first swimmer ever with multiple sub-50 swims yesterday, he’s now the first to do it three times.


  1. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 49.50 — 2019
  2. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 49.66 – 2019
  3. Michael Phelps (USA), 49.82 – 2009
  4. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 49.86 – 2017
  5. Milorad Cavic (SRB), 49.95 – 2009
  6. Milorad Cavic (SRB), 50.01 – 2009
  7. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 50.07 – 2017
  8. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 50.08 – 2017
  9. Michael Phelps (USA), 50.22 – 2009
  10. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 50.28 – 2019
  11. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 50.36 – 2019

Defending his title from 2017, Dressel becomes the fourth man in history to repeat in this event. He joins Ian Crocker (2003-2005), Michael Phelps (3 – 2007-2011), and Chad Le Clos (2013-2015).


Looking at the splits from his three 49-second swims, he was out over two-tenths slower than the semis in 23.09, and then came back a tenth quicker in 26.57. When he went 49.86 in Budapest, he closed the fastest of all three swims in 26.55.

23.31 22.83 23.09
26.55 26.67 26.57
49.86 49.50 49.66

This swim marked an impressive double, as not long prior he won gold and set a new textile world recordin the 50 free final in a time of 21.04. He won both events during the same session in Budapest as well, except there they were reversed (with the 100 fly coming first).

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Small bird
4 years ago

I like how he dives in and doesn’t start his fly kicks for a solid 3/4 of a second. Reallly seems to get the most distance out of his dive

4 years ago

In a sense this shows how great Michael Phelps truly was. Phelps went almost that fast in the 100, and was best in the world in the 200, a very different race.

4 years ago

Did he twitch on the block just before the gun?

4 years ago

The pool appears filled with Ol’ Charmin’s tears….

4 years ago

Speedo would prolly get heated at the thumbnail lol

Bearly Breathing
Reply to  DresselApologist
4 years ago

Yeah — is that Michael Phelps in the thumbnail? Might be time to update that.

4 years ago

Could be 0.16 seconds cooler

Jabroni Pepperoni
Reply to  Pvdh
4 years ago

I appreciated the humor

Jabroni Pepperoni
Reply to  Pvdh
4 years ago

He was short on his wall which I think could’ve been the difference.

4 years ago

The start and turns are exceptional. He hit the finish as well. He’s in a league of his own with those 49s.

Benjamin van der Wel
4 years ago

This is almost an entire master class in butterfly. Thank you for posting this!

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Benjamin van der Wel
4 years ago

Couldn’t agree more. This one’s a keeper. How can we see ALL the swims from underwater? Any ideas?

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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