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  • Jul

    Day 5 Swimming Worlds: American Men Take Charge

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    It took five days into the swimming competition, but American men finally struck individual gold at these Championships – and they did it in style with two young talents, likely future stars, stepping up when it counted.

    Chase Kalisz became the first American man to reach the top step of the podium in an individual event when he swam to victory in the 200m IM to begin competition Wednesday night.

    Kalisz used a dominant breaststroke leg to pull away and then hold off Japan’s Kosuke Hagino in the final 25m of the freestyle for the win. Kalisz continues American dominance in this race over the last 15 years with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte owning the 200m IM on the world stage dating back to 2001.

    Just 15 minutes later, it was Caeleb Dressel, the talented 20-year-old from the University of Florida, setting an American record that he had broken in the relays earlier this week in the 100m freestyle to win gold. It seems a portent of some incredible things to come for Dressel in coming years. American Nathan Adrian grabbed silver and then swum over into Dressel’s lane to celebrate with his teammate.

    The women’s 50m backstroke event went by in a flash as Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros won gold for her country’s first title here at the Danube Arena and in the women’s 200m butterfly – an event without an American in the final – Olympic champion Mireia Belmonte of Spain took first out of lane three, as the home crowd went wild over Katinka Hosszu’s bronze medal coming from the outside lanes in lane seven. 

    The night ended in style for the U.S. with the fourth relay gold for the Stars & Stripes, as they have swept to victory in the relays thus far in the Danube Arena. Inserted into the final were both Leah Smith and Katie Ledecky, who swam the first and fourth legs. Mallory Comerford and Melanie Margalis also contributed to the U.S. win with Ledecky about a half body length ahead of the Chinese swimmer in the final 50m sprint for a relatively comfortable win.

    With three days left in the competition, the U.S. increased their gold medal count to nine on this night, three times more than the next closest countries of China and Great Britain (three each).

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