Katie Ledecky of the US wins gold medal in the women's 800m freestyle at Tokyo Olympics and Caeleb Dressel adds a world record to his growing medal haul.
Caeleb Dressel has added a world record to his growing medal haul and Katie Ledecky closed out her Olympics with another victory, too.
Dressel won his third gold medal of the Tokyo Games with a world record in the 100-meter butterfly.
About 20 minutes later, Ledecky claimed her expected gold in the 800 freestyle, though she was pushed hard by Australian rival Ariarne Titmus.
Ledecky finished up with two golds, two silver and a fifth-place finish at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre — not as successful as she was five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, but not bad at all.
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 the American set at the 2019 world championships in Gwangju.
Milak, winner of the 200 fly, earned the silver with a blistering 49.68. The bronze went to Switzerland’s Noe Ponti.
When he saw the “WR” beside his name, Dressel smiled and joined hands with Milak in the lane next to him. They raised their arms together before Dressel flexed his left arm and pumped it in the air.
From the nearly empty stands, the cheers from Dressel's teammates rang through the arena. When he was announced as the Olympic champion, he raised his right arm again as he walked along the deck.
He didn't want to exert too much energy; he had two more races on his morning schedule.
Imagine being Katie Ledecky 👀— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) July 31, 2021
Coming into tonight's 800m Free Final, she owned the top 23 times in the history of the event.
Tonight's gold medal-winning time of 8:12.57 keeps it that way. #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/WlK4S4eb8L
First female swimmer to capture six gold medals
Ledecky became the first female swimmer to capture six individual gold medals with her third straight Olympic title in the 800 free.
Ledecky led all the way in a race she hasn’t lost since 2010, winning with a time of 8 minutes, 12.57 seconds .
Titmus closed strong to claim the silver in 8:13.83, while the bronze went to Italy’s Simona Quadarella in 8:18.35.
Ledecky lost her first two individual matchups with Titmus, but finally beat the Terminator in their final showdown.
The Australian women did claim another gold.
Kaylee McKeown completed a sweep of the backstroke events with a victory in the 200 butterfly. Her winning time was 2:04.68.
The silver went to Canada’s Kylie Masse in 2:05.42, with another Australian, Emily Seebohm, claiming the bronze in 2:06.17.
Americans Rhyan White and Phoebe Bacon finished fourth and fifth.
The Australians have won six women’s swimming gold medals in Tokyo and seven golds overall.
Dressel’s victory started off a busy morning.
Shortly after collecting his gold medal, he had to hustle back to the deck for the semifinals of the 50 freestyle, where he won his heat. He was also anchoring the 4x100 mixed medley relay, a new Olympic event that features two men and two women on each team.
Dressel is expected to take part in two more finals Sunday, the last day of the swimming competition at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
If Dressel sweeps his events, he'll become the only the the fourth swimmer and fifth athlete overall to win six gold medals at a single Olympics.
Phelps did it twice
Swimming icon Michael Phelps did it twice, capturing six golds at the 2004 Athens Games before setting the record with eight golds in Beijing four years later.
Phelps broke the mark held by Mark Spitz, who won seven golds at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Also winning six golds were East German swimmer Kristin Otto in 1988 and gymnast Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus in 1992, when he represented the Unified Team that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union.