BUDAPEST — Caeleb Dressel, Torri Huske and Alex Walsh gave the U.S. three gold medals from the four total events on the second night of the world swimming championships.
Dressel earned his second gold in as many events at these worlds, taking the 50m butterfly in 22.57 seconds, matching his second-best time, for his 15th career world title on Sunday. Dressel, who led off the victorious 4x100m freestyle relay Saturday, is expected to swim eight events over the eight-day meet.
“Feels good to get the first individual one out of the way. It’s always the most nerve-racking,” said Dressel, who won seven and then eight medals at the last two worlds. “It wasn’t perfect. None of my races are.
“I never come to these [meets] to count medals. It’s just about swimming fast. That’s all that’s on my mind.”
Brazilian Nicholas Santos, 42, earned silver to become the first swimmer in their 40s to win a world medal. American Michael Andrew took bronze, his first individual medal at an Olympics or worlds.
Huske, a 19-year-old rising Stanford sophomore, lowered her American record to win the 100m fly in 55.64 for her first individual Olympic or world medal. In Tokyo, Huske missed a medal by one hundredth of a second.
Canadian Maggie Mac Neil, who won the 2019 Worlds (55.83) and Tokyo Olympics (55.59), chose to race strictly relays at these worlds. Huske’s time Sunday would have tied for silver at the Olympics.
“I don’t really know how to put it into words because it’s kind of surreal,” Huske said. “I haven’t really processed it yet, but I’m just happy that I went a best time more than anything.”
Walsh took gold in the 200m individual medley, a year after winning Olympic silver in the event. Her time — 2:07.13 — would have won the Tokyo Olympic title by a massive 1.39 seconds. Yui Ohashi of Japan, who swept the individual medleys in Tokyo, didn’t qualify for Sunday’s final.
“I was totally calm before the final, I knew this was going to happen,” Walsh said. “After so many years of training, I knew what I was capable of.”
Australian Kaylee McKeown, who swept the backstrokes in Tokyo, withdrew from the 100m back on Sunday, reportedly to focus on the 200m IM. McKeown, fastest in the world in the 200m IM in 2021 despite not swimming it in Tokyo, touched 1.44 seconds behind Walsh on Sunday.
American Leah Hayes, a 16-year-old in her first major international meet, took bronze in a world junior record. Hayes, who has alopecia universalis and swims without a cap, lowered her personal best for the fourth time in her last five splashes. Between trials and worlds, she chopped 2.31 seconds off her PB.
“It’s surreal to be on the podium with my teammate and to get a world [junior] record when I wasn’t even expecting myself to win a medal at this world championships,” Hayes said.
American Nic Fink earned his first Olympic or world championships medal, a bronze in the 100m breaststroke at age 28. Italian Nicolo Martinenghi took gold in 58.26, topping Olympic silver medalist Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands by .26. Fink, who led at 50 meters, finished .39 back.
Brit Adam Peaty, who had won every Olympic and world title in the 100m breast since 2015, missed worlds due to a broken foot.
In semifinals, two-time reigning world champion and world record holder Lilly King squeaked into Monday’s 100m breast final in the eighth and last spot. King wouldn’t have made it if training partner Annie Lazor wasn’t disqualified for a leg kick that was not simultaneous. A FINA appeals jury will look at the protest of the DQ on Monday morning.
Monday’s other finals feature Katie Ledecky in the 1500m freestyle and Ryan Murphy, Regan Smith and Claire Curzan in the 100m backstrokes.
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