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Caeleb Dressel earns an individual race in Paris, winning 50 free at US Olympic swim trials


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Caeleb Dressel earned his first individual race of the Paris Games, winning the men's 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials on Friday night.

Dressel, the winner of five gold medals in Tokyo, finished third in the first individual event, the 100 freestyle, which relegated him to the relay at that distance.

But he'll get a chance to defend his 50 free title in Paris, powering to a relatively easy victory in the all-out sprint from one end of the pool to the other at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Dressel touched in 21.41 seconds, with Chris Guiliano claiming his third individual race in Paris with a runner-up finish of 21.69.

Regan Smith will also be swimming three individual events at the Olympics after winning the 200 backstroke.

Smith was under world-record pace through the first two laps, but faded a bit at the end to touch in 2 minutes, 5.16 seconds.

Still, she finished more than a second ahead of Phoebe Bacon, who grabbed the second Olympic spot in 2:06.27. She chased down reigning world champion Claire Curzan, who missed out on a berth in Paris with a time of 2:06.34.

Smith previously won the 100 backstroke in world-record time, along with a victory in the 200 fly. She just missed a fourth individual race in Paris with a third-place showing in the 100 fly.

Still, it's been a dynamic meet for the Minnesota native, who has endured plenty of ups and downs since setting her first world record in 2019.

“I'm incredibly proud of this performance,” Smith said. “I ran out of gas in that last race, but its been a great meet for me.”

Guiliano edged Matt King for an Olympic berth by a hundredth of a second, with Jack Alexy taking fourth in 21.76.

It was a busy night to Dressel, who also was competing in the semifinals of his final event, the 100 butterfly. He hustled off the deck to warm down with only about 30 minutes between races.

Guiliano has emerged as a big star of these trials, heading to his first Olympics with three individual events on his plate. He won the 100 freestyle and was runner-up in the 200 free and now the 50 free.


AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games