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Friday, September 17, 2021

Tokyo 2020: Dressel sets world record in 100m butterfly, Ledecky wins second gold

Caeleb Dressel led right from the start and held off Hungary's Kristof Milak to touch in 49.45 seconds, breaking the mark of 49.50 that he had set at the 2019 World Championships.

By: New York Times | Tokyo |
Updated: July 31, 2021 10:19:15 am
Caeleb Dressel, of the United States, swims in the men's 100m butterfly final at the Tokyo Olympics. (AP)

by John Branch

Caeleb Dressel of the United States won his third gold medal of the Tokyo Games, setting a world record in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 49.45 seconds, and Katie Ledecky concluded her Olympics with another gold medal in an event she has dominated her entire career.

Dressel already held the world record in the 100 fly (49.5 seconds in 2019) and the Olympic record (49.71 Friday), and he came to the final as the favorite. His finish was the first world record in a men’s swimming individual event at the Tokyo Games.

Ledecky earned her second victory of the Games in the 800-meter freestyle, clocking in at 8 minutes, 12:57 seconds, ahead of Ariarne Titmus of Australia and Simona Quadarella of Italy. It was Ledecky’s third Olympic gold medal in the 800 free, after wins in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Ledecky will depart Tokyo with two gold medals (the other in the 1,500 free) and two silver medals. She finished fifth in the 200 free.

Entering Saturday, the United States had 24 medals, 10 more than any other country. (That would be Australia, with 14, followed by Britain, with six.) If there was disappointment among Americans, it was that they were showing depth more than dominance. Only — only being relative — six of the 24 medals were gold.

In the final event, the mixed 4×100 medley — in which each team features two men and two women — Britain won in 3 minutes, 37.58 seconds, setting a world record in the first time the event was held at the Olympics.

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