Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling’s hopes to be a world champion and world record holder were shattered by American Caeleb Dressel in the 100m butterfly in Budapest on Sunday (30 July).
The 22-year-old clocked 50.83s seconds to finish in a joint third for bronze with Great Britan’s James Guy. American Caeleb Dressel won the gold in a blistering 49.86s. Kirstof Milak of Hungary won silver in 50.62s.
Dressel was the hot favourite to win the event after clocking 50.07s in the semi-final, the fastest ever time in a textile suit. Only Milorad Cavic (49.95s) and Michael Phelps (49.82s) have gone under 50 seconds in the now-banned super suits. Dressel, 21, is the first swimmer to go under 50 seconds in a textile suit.
The bronze matches Schooling’s previous effort at the World Championships where he won bronze in 2015 in the same event.
The reigning Olympic champion had been gunning for Michael Phelps’ world record of 49.82s but Dressel, whom Schooling described as “phenomenal” and “on form” after the semi-finals, proved that he had plenty of stamina left after clinching the gold medal in the men’s 50m freestyle half an hour before the 100m fly final. Dressel’s timing of 21.15s in the 50m free was also the fastest ever in a textile suit.
Reflecting on the race, Schooling said, “That was really fast, Caeleb had a great swim, the Hungarian kid had a great swim, I think I was pretty fortunate to get a bronze medal, considering my performance. A lot of things to go back to work on, that was an insanely fast race, so that is pretty much it.”
Dressel also won gold medals in this meet in the 100m freestyle and the 4x100m freestyle and mixed 4x100m medley relay.