Caeleb Dressel Leads Team USA to Victory in Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay — His First Gold at Tokyo Olympics
Caeleb Dressel and Team USA won gold at the Tokyo Olympics!
On Monday, Dressel, 24, along with teammates Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker and Zach Apple placed first in the 4x100m freestyle relay with a time of 3:08.97 at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Just 1.14 seconds behind the Americans was Italy and 1.25 seconds behind was third-place finisher Australia.
The Americans clocked the fastest time on every leg of the race. Monday's big win marks the 10th time the U.S. has won gold in the last 13 times the men's 4x100m relay has taken place at the Olympic Games.
"Hi mom, hi dad!" Dressel said to the camera after the relay victory.
Speaking with NBC's Michele Tafoya before their medal ceremony, Dressel said, "It feels great. We knew there was a huge target on our back, every go around. It was nice, I mean I'd say we dominated that pretty well," adding, We're never going to doubt ourselves, that's how Team USA works. We had a couple people rule us out of that event, we're never going to take that. It feels nice to dominate that event and have that back on home soil."
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After the medal ceremony, Dressel was seen throwing his gold medal to Brooks Curry in the stands. Curry swam for Dressel in the preliminary heat, and Dressel replaced him for the final round.
"[Curry] has got the medal. He has to hold on to it for me until he receives his medal," Dressel told reporters. (A swimmer who competes in the heats but not the final also receives a medal at a later time.)
"I had the easiest job out there because last night I got to watch it on TV," added Dressel, who had been resting during the 4x100m freestyle preliminary heats.
In Tokyo, the Florida native could win six gold medals.
Dressel, who is one of four USA Swimming captains this year, has been widely called the heir to Michael Phelps as Dressel's thrilling heats over the past couple of years have brought the same superstar spotlight to the sport as Phelps' headlining appearances in the past.
Next in Tokyo, Dressel will compete in the men's 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle events on July 27, July 29 and July 30 respectively.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.