American swimmer Caeleb Dressel made history once again after winning three titles in one night at the FINA World Championships.
On Saturday, in just two hours, the 22-year-old won three gold medals. This is the second time Dressel came home with three golds in one night, with the first being at worlds in 2017.
Such a feat is difficult, but Dressel would not have it any other way. "It was not easy in '17, it was not easy this year," Dressel said. "I don't want it to be easy, I really don't."
Michael Phelps never attempted three golds in one night at worlds or at the Olympics.
Dressel secured seven medals at worlds so far, six gold, and looks to tie his seven-gold tally from 2017. That year Dressel tied Phelps' record of medals at a single worlds.
His final gold medal on Saturday came with a world record. In the 4x100-meter freestyle relay Dressel, Zach Apple, Mallory Comerford and Simone Manuel clocked a world record time of 3 minutes, 19.40 seconds, beating the previous time of 3:19.60 set by the United States in 2017.
Dressel's first medal of the night came from a victory in the 50 free with a time of 21.04 seconds, beating the previous championship record of 21.08 seconds set by Brazil's Cesar Cielo at the 2009 worlds in Rome.
The American swimmer then secured a win in the 100-meter fly just 34 minutes later. The night before at the semifinals,in that event.
Dressel's podium visits were about more than just about celebrating the wins, but also honoring his late high school mentor Claire McCool. He tied a bandanna belonging to his teacher, who died in December 2017, onto his medal. "She loved me and I loved her, it's as simple as that," Dressel said, "That bandanna is just the last piece I have of her. I just wanted to bring her along for the journey."
Looking to secure one last piece of hardware, Dressel will finish out his meets with the 4x100 medley relay on Sunday, and he is ready to go. "I'll be ready to swim one tomorrow and swim one fast," he said.