American swimmer Caeleb Dressel is in the record books. During the ISL Grand Finale, Dressel set a world record in the 50-meter freestyle event with a time of 20.24.
The previous record was held by French swimmer Florent Manaudou. Ironically, Dressel swam right next to Manaudou during the ISL Grand Finale.
Manaudou’s previous world record was 20.26, which was set at the 2014 World Championships. Dressel is no stranger to world records as he held the American and U.S. Open records at 20.43 (2018 World Championships) and 20.81 (College Park ISL meet) before resetting them with this performance.
Dressel certainly proved to be a workhorse during the ISL Grand Finale as this was his third race in an hour. “I’m making my mark in swimming history,” Dressel told Olympic.org in August. “It’s amazing. I can now say that at one point I was the best, that I left a mark in the history of my sport. It’s really crazy for a small-town guy like me.”
Dressel has the support of former teammate Michael Phelps as he prepares for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“If there’s someone who doesn’t care how hard it’s going to be, how hard they’re going to have to work, how much pain they’re willing to put their body through, we might see it,” Phelps said over the summer.
Phelps added that Dressel likely will need to be “perfect” if Dressel wants to win eight gold medals at the 2020 Olympics.
Dressel certainly has a challenging year ahead of him, but having a world record to his credit could be a major launching point to a big performance in Tokyo.