Dressel back in winner's circle with US Open 100m fly triumph
WASHINGTON, Dec 2, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - Seven-time Olympic gold medallist Caeleb Dressel's push for the Paris Olympics gained steam Friday with his 100m butterfly victory at the US Open in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Dressel, sixth at the turn, powered home to win in 51.31sec, his first race win since the 2022 World Championships, where he cut short his campaign before stepping away from swimming for several months.
Dressel, who failed to qualify for the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, earlier this year, said the victory just confirmed the progress he'd already felt in training.
"It's not something I need right now," he said of the victory. "Training's been going great, so it's a little cherry on top. It's just fun to be back."
With his eyes firmly on the US Olympic trials in June and the Paris Games, Dressel said he was in a "really good spot."
"Throwing up some times that probably (are) a little quicker than I thought it would be at this point in the season," said Dressel, who set the world record of 49.45sec at the Tokyo Olympics but hadn't gone faster than 51.66 since his return to competition.
His storming finish saw him touch one one-hundredth of a second ahead of Ilya Kharun of Canada with Josh Liendo third in 51.42.
In other races on Friday, world record-holder and world champion Summer McIntosh won the women's 400m individual medley in 4min 29.96sec -- nearly eight seconds ahead Israel's Anastasia Gorbenko (4:37.90). American Regan Smith was third in 4:38.77.
"Overall I'm pretty happy with that," said the 17-year-old McIntosh, who followed up her win over Katie Ledecky in the 400m freestyle.
Seven-time Olympic champion Ledecky settled for second again in the 200m free, won by Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey in 1:54.20 to Ledecky's 1:56.29.
Haughey returned to win the 100m breaststroke in 1min 06.05sec ahead of Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Lydia Jacoby (1:06.20).
Olympic gold medallist Chase Kalisz followed up his 200m medley victory with a win in the 400m IM in 4:10.42. Carson Foster was second in 4:13.43 and Jay Litherland was third in 4:14.50.
American Torri Huske won the women's 100m fly in 56.21sec and compatriot Smith won the women's 100m backstroke in 58.16sec.
Germany's Rafael Miroslaw won the men's 200m freestyle in 1:45.92, Denis Petroshov of Kyrgyzstan won the men's 100m breaststroke in 59.46sec and Hungarian Hubert Kos won the men's 100m back in 53.19sec.