Seven-time Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel secures shot at defending 50m freestyle title in Paris

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Caeleb Dressel

22nd June 2024 – (Paris) Seven-time Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel solidified his opportunity to defend his 50 metres freestyle title in Paris. The electrifying event, known as the “splash and dash,” unfolded at the U.S. Olympic trials held in Indianapolis on Friday.

After a disappointing third-place finish that cost him the chance to defend his 100 metres free crown, Dressel refused to be denied in the 50 metres freestyle. With unwavering determination, he surged to victory, touching the wall in an impressive 21.41 seconds. The roaring approval of the colossal crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL Indianapolis Colts, echoed his triumph.

Chris Guiliano, the victor in the 100 metres free, will join Dressel in the 50 metres freestyle event in Paris. With an extraordinary display of speed, Guiliano snatched second place from Matt King by a mere 0.001 seconds.

Meanwhile, Regan Smith, who had already stunned the swimming world with a world record in the 100 metres backstroke earlier in the week, continued her dominance. Adding to her workload in Paris, Smith seized her third individual event, the 200 metres backstroke, in commanding fashion. She left the field, which included swimmers responsible for six of the top 10 times this year, in her wake. Smith touched the wall first, unchallenged, with a remarkable time of two minutes and 5.16 seconds, securing a lead of over a second ahead of the second-place finisher, Phoebe Bacon.

Reflecting on her exceptional performance, Smith remarked, “It’s a night and day difference between 2021 (Tokyo Olympics) and now. I had a bit of a struggle towards the end of my last race, but overall, it has been an incredible week for me.”

In the final event of the evening, Carson Foster, who emerged victorious in the 400 metres individual medley, achieved an impressive feat. He completed the individual medley double by overtaking Shaine Casas during the final freestyle leg of the 200 metres individual medley. Foster secured the top spot with a time of 1:55.65.

Although Casas narrowly missed victory by a mere 0.18 seconds, his second-place finish granted him a coveted ticket to Paris and his first Olympic Games. Overwhelmed with emotion, Casas expressed, “This means everything. Since I was a child, becoming an Olympian was all I dreamed about. Now, I don’t have to pretend and dream. I am an Olympian.”