2022 FINA WORLD AQUATIC CHAMPIONSHIPS
The United States won three gold medals and three bronze medals on night two of the 2022 FINA World Championships.
Caeleb Dressel won back-to-back world titles in the 50m butterfly, becoming the first American to do so. Dressel spoke to USA Swimming about his win saying, “It feels good to have the first individual [gold] out of the way. It’s always the most nerve-wracking. I feel like I executed well. Sure – you hear me say it a million times – it could have been better but that’s okay. It worked well tonight so I’m happy for Michael. I didn’t know it was his first medal so it will be good to share the podium with him tonight.
Tonight’s gold was Dressel’s first individual medal in the competition after being part of the USA gold medal-winning men’s 4×100 freestyle relay last night. Dressel also spoke about his mentality for the encounter saying: “I’m looking forward to the rest of the game, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s rest day. I’m as good as I can be. The cards are different every day, so I try to manage them as best I can. I can’t change the way my body feels. I felt pretty good today – it really wouldn’t change anything and I’m sure everything will be fine for the rest of the competition. Dressel has the day off tomorrow and is expected to be back in the 100 freestyle heats Tuesday morning.
In addition to Dressel’s gold, the United States also had a bronze medal won by Michael Andre this is the first time that two Americans have won a medal together in this event at a FINA World Championship. Andrew set a new best time and won his first long course individual championship medal. Andrew spoke to USA Swimming about his race and Dressel said: “Even though he’s a teammate I still want to beat him. It’s good to have a guy like him in a lot of the events I’m in because it pushes me to work a lot harder so I’m excited for the next two years of riding him. I see the way he pursues excellence, so as an athlete I admire that. So every day I hope to be on the top step of the podium with Caeleb.
The evening was also marked by an American record set by Torri Huske. Huske swam to a gold medal clocking 55.64, breaking her own American record of 55.66 that she swam at the Wave II Olympic trials last summer. Huske also became the first American to win the event since 2011. Huske spoke to USA Swimming about her record, saying: “It’s really amazing. I really don’t know how to put it into words because it’s kind of surreal. I feel like I haven’t really processed it yet. I’m just glad I did a better time more than the place. At the end of the day, I just want to see that I am improving. Her American teammate Claire Curzan finished fifth overall.
Also winning gold tonight for USA was Alex Walch after swimming a time of 2:07.13 in the 200 IM. Walsh won silver in that event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Walsh spoke to USA Swimming about the experience saying, “I forgot what it was like to have so many people in the crowd and I was honestly shocked when I looked up from my race and saw that the stadium was full of people. I think it gave me a lot of adrenaline and it’s such an honor to race Katinka [Hosszu]. I really admired her all these years and it was fun. I know her home crowd was supporting her, but it really got me excited to race and I’m just grateful to be here in Budapest.
The Tokyo Olympics had no spectators. Katinka Hosszu of the host country, Hungary, went into tonight’s final placing seventh. Hosszu is the world record holder for the event. Walsh became the first American to win gold in the event since 2009, setting a personal best in the process.
Walsh also spoke about the American bronze medalist Lea Hayes saying, “I knew she was super nervous in the waiting room. I was just super happy she was next to me and I didn’t even see she was third I was so shocked at my time and then when I saw she was third and got beat the 2:09 barrier at such a young age – she is on a very good path. Walsh and Hayes held the top two seeds heading into the final, so they were respectfully in lanes four (Walsh) and five (Hayes).
Along with winning bronze, Hayes also set a junior world record in the process. Hayes spoke on his record saying, “I’ve had my eyes set on this record for a while now and I’m so happy to finally have it.” Hayes also spoke about winning his first medal at an international meet saying: “It’s surreal – to be on the podium with my teammate and get a world record when I didn’t even expect to medal at these world championships? I gave everything !” Walsh and Hayes combined to have the fastest splits out of the four 50s on the court.
American Nick Fink also won a medal tonight after hitting first at the 50 mark. Fink won bronze in the men’s 100 breaststroke in 58.65, just 0.03 shy of tied silver. After swimming four long course world championships, Fink won her first medal. He talked about what it’s like to win his first medal saying, “It feels good. First of all, I can’t complain about the result. I hope to have more this week. Fink is also entered in the 50 and 200 breaststroke later in the competition.
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