Swimming Day 9 roundup: Dressel captures third individual gold

Posted at 9:05 PM, Jul 31, 2021

After eight days of memorable action from the Tokyo Aquatics Center, the Tokyo Olympics swimming competition comes to a close with the last session of finals Sunday.

But not before Caeleb Dressel put on one last show. 

Having already amassed three gold medals in the 4x100m freestyle relay, 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly (in which he set a world record), Dressel upped his total to four in the 50m freestyle. Then, in the 4x100m medley relay, he became the first Olympian not named Michael Phelps to win five gold medals at a single Games since 1988.

Australia's Emma McKeon also reached historic heights. With gold medals in the women's 50m freestyle and women's medley relay, she joined Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya as just the second woman to win seven medals at single Olympics.

The other big story: could American Bobby Finke, surprise gold medalist in the 800 free, complete the distance double in the men's 1500? He absolutely could, with a monumental late charge to grab the win.

Relive the action below with highlights from all five finals to close out the Games.

Men's 50m Freestyle, Final


Caeleb Dressel made good on every bit of his potential as an individual swimmer in Tokyo, winning the men's 50m freestyle to complete a three-for-three performance in his solo Olympic events.

Dressel swam the single length of the pool in 20.07, an Olympic record.

A pair of veterans followed Dressel for silver and bronze, 30-year-old Florent Manaudou of France and 32-year-old Brazilian Bruno Fratus. American Michael Andrew finished fourth.

Manadou's silver came .48 behind Dressel, the largest margin of victory in the event's Olympic history.

Dressel has the potential for another medal, potentially another gold, later in the night in the men's 4x100m medley relay. Dressel will swim the butterfly leg.

SEE MORE: Caeleb Dressel surges to 50 free gold in Olympic record

Women's 50m Freestyle, Final


Emma McKeon outran a loaded field which included 28 combined Olympic medals across all eight participants.

McKeon touched first in 23.81, an Olympic record. She won her third gold medal and her sixth total medal of the Tokyo Games. She will race for Australia in the women's medley relay.

Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom took silver for her first medal in Tokyo and fourth Olympic medal of her career.

Denmark's Pernille Blume, the Rio 2016 gold medalist in the event, took bronze. 

American Abbey Weitzeil finished eighth in the final.

SEE MORE: Emma McKeon adds 50m freestyle gold for 6th Tokyo medal

Men's 1500m Freestyle, Final


Bobby Finke charged in the final length once again to win the men's 1500m freestyle in 14:39.65 and complete an unprecedented sweep of the distance swimming events in Tokyo.

Finke went 25.7 in the final 50 meters to surge past Germany's Florian Wellbrock and Ukraine's Mykhailo Romanchuk to secure his second gold medal of the Olympics.

After coming from out of nowhere to win the inaugural Olympic men's 800m freestyle earlier in the week, Finke stayed firmly among the top three for the entirety of the mile-long swim, then turned on the jets to complete the distance double.

Katie Ledecky completed the first women's distance double, winning the inaugural women's 1500m freestyle and claiming her third straight 800m gold medal earlier at the Olympics.

SEE MORE: Watch Bobby Finke's final 100m charge for men's mile gold

Women 4x100m Medley Relay, Final


It came down to the touch between the United States and Australia, as relay legend Cate Campbell pulled the Aussies back from a .25 deficit to chase down Abbey Weitzeil and win gold in 3:51.60, just .13 ahead of the Americans.

After the first leg, Canada held a slight lead thanks to Kylie Masse's leadoff backstroke swim. 

100m breaststroke gold medalist Lydia Jacoby, who famously had her goggles become dislodged from her eyes during the mixed medley relay, gave the United States a lead at the midway point.

Australia's Emma McKeon minutes after winning 50 free gold, swam the butterfly leg for the Aussies chasing her historic seventh Tokyo medal. She handed off to Campbell, who produced a clutch near-zero reaction time on her start to close the gap and beat out the Americans for gold.

Canada took the bronze.

SEE MORE: Australia snatches women's 4×100m medley relay gold

Men's 4x100m Medley Relay, Final


Caeleb Dressel got the help he needed and delivered a monumental butterfly leg himself to power the United States to a gold medal in the men's 4x100m medley relay, breaking the world record.

The U.S. finished in 3:26.78 to unseat a 12-year-old mark set by a United States team that included Michael Phelps and Aaron Peirsol at the 2009 World Championships.

Dressel's leg of 49.03 was the fastest in history. He rounded out his Tokyo Olympics with five gold medals, the most by any athlete other than Phelps since 1988.

Ryan Murphy swimming leadoff backstroke, Michael Andrew in breaststroke and Zach Apple with the anchor freestyle leg all produced among the fastest splits of the race to help Dressel reach the historic mark.

Great Britain, the prerace favorites due in large part to the untouchable breaststroke ability of Adam Peaty, took silver .73 behind the Americans.

Italy claimed bronze in 3:29.17.

SEE MORE: U.S. wins 4×100m medley relay gold in world record time