Caeleb Dressel on 100m freestyle gold: I wasn’t worried about anything

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel finally has an individual Olympic gold medal to call his own after winning the 100m freestyle.

The 24-year-old already has three Olympic team golds to his name – two from Rio in 2016, and one from these Tokyo Games in the 4×100 free relay.

But he romped to his individual freestyle victory in a new Olympic record time of 47.02, and with the Florida native in contention for a further four medals – two individual (100m butterfly and 50m) and two in relays (medley and mixed medley) – Dressel could end these Games as one of the most successful ever swimmers at an individual Games.

Dressel admitted he felt pressure beforehand, particularly because of the relative lack of US success so far in the pool.

“I knew that weight was on my shoulders,” he said.

I wasn’t worried about anything.

“During the race there’s only so much you can do.

“Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. I stuck to my race plan so if it got me first, OK, if it got me second, OK.”

And on getting first individual Olympic gold after a slew of success at the two most recent world championships?

“It is a lot different,” he said.

“I guess I thought it would be, I just didn’t want to admit to it.

“It’s a lot tougher. You have to rely on yourself, there’s no one to bail you out.”

He only saw off defending champion Kyle Chalmers by 0.06 seconds but he did enough to get to the line and will now be eyeing a place in history alongside Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz, who are the only other swimmers to have ever won more than six medals at an Olympics.

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