2022 FINA WORLD WATER CHAMPIONSHIPS
The United States won three gold medals and three bronze medals on the second night of the 2022 FINA World Championships.
Caeleb Dressel won back-to-back world titles in the 50 butterflies, becoming the first American to do so. Speaking to USA Swimming about his win, Dressel said: “It feels good to get the first individual [gold] out of the way. That’s always the most nerve-wracking. I feel like I performed well. Of course – you can hear me say that a thousand times – it could have been better, but that’s okay. It worked well tonight so I’m just 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 at the competition after he was part of the USA 4×100 freestyle relay, which won gold last night. Dressel also spoke about his mentality for the meeting, saying: “I’m looking forward to the rest of the meeting, but also to the day off tomorrow. i am as good as i can be The maps are different every day, so I try to deal with them as best I can. I can’t change how my body feels. I felt good enough today – wouldn’t really change anything and I’m sure I’ll get through the rest of the meeting just fine.” Dressel has tomorrow off and is expected to be back in the 100 Freestyle heats on Tuesday morning.
In addition to Dressel’s gold, the USA had also won a bronze medal Michael Andrew This is the first time two Americans have won a medal together at a FINA World Championships. Andrew set a new personal best and won his first individual long distance medal. Andrew spoke to USA Swimming about his race and Dressel said: “As much as he is a teammate, I always want to beat him. It’s nice to have a guy like him in a lot of the races I race because it drives me to work so much harder so I’m looking forward to racing with him for the next few years. I see him striving for excellence, so I look up to that as an athlete. That’s why I hope every day to be at the top of the podium with Caeleb.”
Another highlight of the night was an American record set by Torri Huske. Huske swam to a gold medal in a time of 55.64, breaking her own American record time of 55.66 set at last summer’s Wave II Olympic Trials. Huske also became the first American to win the event since 2011. Speaking to USA Swimming about their record, Huske said: “It’s really adorable. I really don’t know how to put it into words because it’s kind of surreal. I feel like I haven’t really gotten over it yet. I’m just glad I got a better time than that place and at the end of the day I just want to see that I improve.” US teammate Claire Curzan was fifth overall.
Also winning gold tonight for the USA was Alex Walsch after the swim, a time of 2:07.13 in the 200 IM. Walsh won silver at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Speaking to USA Swimming about the experience, Walsh said: “I forgot what it’s like to have so many people in the crowd and I was honestly shocked when I looked up from my race and saw the stadium was packed with people. I think it just gave me a lot of adrenaline and it’s just an honor to compete against Katinka [Hosszu]. I’ve really looked up to her over the years and it’s been fun. I know her home crowd was rooting for her but I was really excited to be racing and I’m just grateful to be here in Budapest.”
The Tokyo Olympics had no spectators. Katinka Hosszu host country Hungary was seventh in the final tonight. Hosszu is the world record holder in the event. Walsh became the first American to win gold at the event since 2009 while setting a personal best.
Walsh also spoke about the US bronze medalist LeahHayes Saying, “I knew she was super nervous in the ready room. I was just super happy that she was next to me and I didn’t even see her finish third. I was so shocked by my time and then when I saw her finish third and hit the 2:09 mark at such a young age – she’s doing it on a really great path.” Walsh and Hayes held the top two seedlings that made it to the finals, so they were respectful on lanes four (Walsh) and five (Hayes).
In addition to winning bronze, Hayes also set a junior world record. Speaking on her record, Hayes said: “I’ve been eyeing this record for a while and I’m so happy to finally get it.” Hayes also spoke about winning her first medal at an international meeting, saying: “It’s surreal – to be on the podium with my teammate and set a world record when I wasn’t even expecting to win a medal at this World Championships? I gave everything!” Both Walsh and Hayes combined had the fastest splits on all four 50s in the field.
American Nick Fink also earned a medal tonight after first touching the 50 mark. Fink won bronze in the men’s 100m breaststroke with a time of 58.65, just 0.03 less than silver. After a world championship on four long lanes, Fink won his first medal. Talking about how it feels to win your first medal, he said: “It feels good. First of all, you can’t complain about the result. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting more this week.” Fink is also entered in the 50 and 200 breaststroke later in the competition.