Former Gator Caeleb Dressel helped the United States defend the gold medal in the men’s 4x100 meter freestyle relay Sunday.
The gold came after fellow Gators Kieran Smith and Natalie Hinds earned bronze in the men's 400-meter freestyle and in the women’s 4x100 meter freestyle relay, respectively, Saturday.
Dressel, a 2018 Florida graduate, claimed gold twice in the 2016 Rio Olympics — once in the men’s 4x100 meter freestyle relay and again in the men’s 4x100 meter medley relay.
The seven-time world champion replaced LSU’s Brooks Curry in the final as the first leg. Dressel preceded Blake Pieroni, Bowe Becker and Zach Apple.
The 10-time NCAA Champion dove into the pool and took the lead within the first 15 meters. He finished his opening leg in 47.29 seconds.
Pieroni and Becker carried their weight for the stars and stripes as Italy trailed closely behind before Apple anchored the gold for the USA with a time of 3:08.97, enough for a 1.14-second margin of victory.
“It feels great, we knew there was a huge target on our back,” Dressel said in an interview after the race. “We’re never going to doubt ourselves, that's how Team USA works.”
Dressel hits the pool again for the men’s 100-meter freestyle prelims Monday before he teams up again for the men’s 4x200 meter freestyle relay, men’s 100-meter butterfly, men’s 50-meter freestyle and the new men’s 4x100 meter mixed medley relay later in the games.
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Karina Wilson is a second-year student at the University of Florida within the College of Journalism and Communications with a specialization in sports and media. She aims to produce engaging, accurate and current content for all types of sports fans. Currently, Karina is The Alligator's lacrosse beat writer.