Watch Dressel Rattle the WR in 100m Fly, Cracking the 49.9 Barrier in Budapest


Barely dry from his 50m free final just a half hour earlier, Caeleb Dressel stepped up to the block to race the second of his three races of the night on Saturday: the final of the men’s 100m butterfly. Dressel unleashed the second-fastest swim of all time, only 4/100 behind Michael Phelps‘ 49.82 from 2009. Only three athletes have ever broken the 50-second barrier: Phelps (49.82), Dressel (49.86), and Milorad Cavic (49.95).

Kristof Milak, of host nation Hungary, claimed the silver medal, while Great Britain’s James Guy and Singapore’s Joseph Schooling tied for the bronze.

Watch the entire race, courtesy of NBC Sports.

Write-up from James Sutherland:


  1. Caeleb Dressel, USA, 49.86
  2. Kristof Milak, HUN, 50.62
  3. James Guy, GBR / Joseph Schooling, SNG, 50.83

It was just over half an hour after the 50 free, but it was also Caeleb Dressel needed. He left no doubt, out first in 23.31 and back in 26.55 to win gold in a mind boggling 49.86. That is the 2nd fastest swim in history, trailing only Michael Phelps‘ 49.82 from 2009. He passes Milorad Cavic‘s 49.95, also from 2009 for 2nd fastest performer ever.

Dressel is now well on his way to three golds in one night, which would be the first time that has ever been done. He sweeps the 100 free / 100 fly at Worlds for the first time in history, and now has five golds in Budapest.

Hungary’s Kristof Milak delighted the crowd once again, lowering his junior world record down to 50.62 for the silver medal. James Guy and Olympic champ Joseph Schooling tied for the bronze medal in 50.83.

This was the fastest field in history, with a mind blowing six swimmers sub-51 after only Schooling was last summer in Rio. On top of that, 7th place was 51.00. Laszlo Cseh took 5th in 50.92, and Li Zhuhao was 6th in 50.96.

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3 years ago

The content is not abailable in your location
That’s geographical discrimination

3 years ago

He’s going to beat Phelps’ WR eventually..

Until this year, Dressel wasn’t thought of as a flyer. He made a huge improvement,

The USA needed a good flyer to replace Phelps in the medley relay as well.

crooked donald
Reply to  marklewis
3 years ago

He’ll break it when his braces come off.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  crooked donald
3 years ago

A few tenths right there.

3 years ago

Kristof Milak, only 17 years old, swam a great race to get second. He nailed his finish.

Reply to  marklewis
3 years ago

That is a ridiculous swim for a 17 year old. Caleb may have some fierce competition from Milak.

Reply to  Hans
3 years ago

Remains to be seen how fast these guys can go when not being led or by a 49.8, but his 1;53 at 17 is indicative of a hugely bright future

Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

All three of Milak’s 100 fly JWR’s this meet were not because of Dressel. 50.6 is hugely indicative of a bright future too

Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

His 1.53 he also had no competition to push him. He won by about 5 seconds at Euro Juniors.

Reply to  Boknows34
3 years ago

4 seconds in front of Italian Federico Burdisso (more than 12 months younger than Milak).

Anyway, it’s pretty clear that Milak is an absolute phenom, a super flier but already very strong also in the 100 and 200 free.

I suppose that in next years the swimming rivalry between Dressel and Milak could be a huge one.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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