Dressel joins elite club with 5th Olympic gold; former Lawrence swimmer on record-setting relay team

The United States' men's 4x100-meter medley relay team, Caeleb Dressel, Zach Apple, Ryan Murphy and Michael Andrew, celebrate winning the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

TOKYO (AP) — Make it five for Caeleb Dressel and one for former Lawrence-based swimmer Michael Andrew.

Dressel won his fifth gold medal of the Tokyo Games, finishing off one of the great performances in Olympic history. He joins an elite club of just four other swimmers ever with at least five gold medals at one games.

Dressel swam the butterfly leg as the Americans set a world record in the 4×100-meter medley relay with a time of 3 minutes, 26.78 seconds — eclipsing the mark of 3:27.28 they set at the 2009 Rome world championships in rubberized suits.

Andrew, meanwhile, also swam a leg of the record-setting race to earn his first career Olympic gold medal.

Ryan Murphy and Zach Apple joined Dressel and Andrew on the winning team, ensuring the Americans closed out the swimming competition with another gold in a race they’ve never lost at the Olympics.

Earlier in the session, Dressel won the 50 freestyle for his third individual title of the games. He also won two golds on the relays.

Dressel starred at the pool with Australia’s Emma McKeon, who won two more golds Sunday to push her overall total to seven — four gold and three bronze.

Mirroring Dressel’s final day, McKeon won the 50 free and took the butterfly leg on the Aussies’ winning 4×100 medley relay team on the women’s side.

McKeon became the first female swimmer to win seven medals at a single games. The only men to do it are Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi.

Earlier at the Tokyo Games, Andrew narrowly missed out on a medal in his signature event — the 100 breaststroke — by a half second. And one day before winning gold, the former Lawrence resident fell to all the way to fifth in the 200 IM despite leading after 150 meters.

— Journal-World staff contributed to this report.


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.