American star Caeleb Dressel won the men’s 100-meter freestyle final on Thursday, adding the Olympic gold to his consecutive world titles.
The 24-year-old shot at the wall in a new Olympic record time of 47.02sec to dethrone attacking Australian defending champion Kyle Chalmers, who finished second (47.08).
The Russian Kliment Kolesnikov took the bronze in 47.44.
‘I don’t know if it’s in yet. It has been a very difficult year, very difficult. I’m really happy,” he said in tears as he was connected to his wife and family at home via video link.
Dressel missed out on individual sprint medals in Rio in 2016, but he has since exploded, winning an incredible 13 titles in the past two world championships.
He went into the front corner but had to dig deep to hold off a storming Chalmers, breaking the previous Olympic record of 47.05 held by Australia’s Eamon Sullivan since 2008.
“I left everything in the pool. I gave everything I could,” Chalmers said.
It was Dressel’s second gold at the Games, after leading the United States to the 4x100m relay title on Monday.
He will also compete in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly and could compete in two other relay events to keep his dream of six gold medals alive.