Caeleb Dressel retains title in 100 free at world swims

United States' Caeleb Dressel celebrates after winning the men's 100m freestyle final at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Australia's Matthew Wilson reacts after his men's 200m breaststroke semifinal at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
United States' Caeleb Dressel celebrates after winning the men's 100m freestyle final at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
United States' Olivia Smoliga reacts after winning the women's 50m backstroke final at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
United States' Caeleb Dressel celebrates after winning the men's 100m freestyle final at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

GWANGJU, South Korea — Caeleb Dressel led all the way in winning the 100-meter freestyle at the world swimming championships on Thursday night, earning the American his third gold and fourth medal overall.

Dressel touched in 46.96 seconds, the only man to dip under 47 seconds in the final. He was only 0.05 seconds off the 10-year-old world record of 46.91 set by Brazil's Cesar Cielo.

Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers of Australia settled for silver in 47.08. Vladislav Grinev of Russia took bronze in 47.82.

Dressel tied for being quickest off the starting block and held off a challenge from Chalmers in the closing meters to defend the world title he won in 2017.

Dressel hopped on the lane rope, tossing his head back and his legs out in front of him in celebration.

Dressel's other golds came in the 50 butterfly, a non-Olympic event, and the 4x100 free relay. He took silver in the mixed 4x100 medley relay.

The men's 200 individual medley title went to Daiya Seto of Japan. He touched in 1:56.14.

Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland took silver. Chase Kalisz, the 2017 champion, earned bronze, ending the Americans' streak of winning at eight consecutive worlds.

In the women's 200 butterfly, Boglarka Kapas of Hungary won in 2:06.78. U.S. teammates Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot took silver and bronze, respectively, after coming in as the top two fastest qualifiers.

The U.S. earned a second gold in the women's 50 backstroke, a non-Olympic event.

Olivia Smoliga won from Lane 2 after her more heralded teammate, Kathleen Baker, had the fastest qualifying time. Smoliga clocked 27.33 seconds. Baker faded to sixth.

In the semifinals of the men's 200 breaststroke, Matthew Wilson of Australia equaled the world record of 2:06.67. His time matched the mark set by Ippei Watanabe of Japan in January 2017. Watanabe finished third in the same heat.

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