When the swimming events kick off at the Tokyo Aquatic Center, all eyes will be on 24-year-old US swimmer Caeleb Dressel. Expectations run high on Dressel, as Tokyo Olympics 2020 will be team USA'a first Summer Games of the century without legendary swimmer Michael Phelps.
As Katie Ledecky creates ripples in the women's events, Dressel is expected to do the same in the men's section.
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Who is Caeleb Dressel?
Caeleb Dressel was born in Green Cove Springs, Florida as the third of Christina and Michael Dressel's four children. His three siblings, Kaitlyn, Tyler and Sherridon, are all competitive swimmers. However, Caeleb was the prodigy who started breaking records at a young age.
At the 2011 Junior National Championships in Palo Alto, Caeleb Dressel broke the the record in the 50m freestyle in boys' 13-14 age category.
In 2013, Dressel was selected to the US swimming team for the Junior World Championships. In the 50m freestyle finals, he clocked 22.22s to set a new national record in the 17-18 category. He finished the 100m freestyle in under 49 seconds, another national age group record. The record was previously held by Michael Phelps.
At 15, Caeleb Dressel was invited to the US swimming Trials for the London Olympics but failed to live up to expectations.
Putting the disappointment behind, Caeleb Dressel joined the University of Florida as an 18-year-old.
In his freshman year, Dressel won the 2015 NCAA title in the 50 yard freestyle. A year later, he won the 2016 Men's NCAA Division I Championships.
Caeleb Dressel's performance at Rio Olympics
At the US Olympic Trials, Caleb Dressel finished second in the 100m freestyle, securing his place in the Rio Games.
At the Rio Olympics, the US team won the men's 4x100m freestyle relay in 3:09.92. The team comprised of Michael Phelps, Ryan Held, Nathan Adrian and Caeleb Dressel. Dressel bagged his second gold as the American team won the 4x100m medley relay.
However, Caeleb Dressel disappointed in the men's 100m freestyle with a sixth place in the final.
Dressel dazzles at World Championships
At the 2017 World Aquatic Championships in Budapest, Caeleb Dressel dazzled with a stunning seven gold medals, breaking two national records and two world records. He won gold medals in 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley, 4x100m mixed freestyle and 4x100m mixed medley. He swam the 50m freestyle and the 100m freestyle in 21.15s and 47.17s respectively, setting new national records. The team broke world records in 4x100m mixed freestyle and 4x100m mixed medley with times of 3:19.60 and 3:38.56 respectively.
At the 2019 World Aquatic Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Caeleb Dressel hauled in six golds and two silvers.
The golds came in 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m mixed freestyle. Caeleb Dressel set national records in 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle with times of 21.04s and 46.96s respectively. He clocked 49.50s in 100m butterfly to create a new world record. The 4x100m mixed freestyle was another world record with a time of 3:19.40.
The two silvers came in 4x100m medley and 4x100m mixed medley.
Dressel's six golds placed him third in the history of the World Championships, behind Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.
Before his 22nd birthday, Caeleb Dressel was a two-time Olympic Champion and a thirteen-time World Champion!
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Caeleb Dressel's possible challengers at Tokyo 2020
In Tokyo, Caeleb Dressel is expected to swim in six or seven events. He will face tough competition from Kyle Chalmers, Kristof Milak and Andrei Minakov.
Australian Kyle Chalmers is the current Olympic champion in the 100m freestyle. At the 2019 World Championships, when Caeleb Dressel clinched the 100m freestyle gold in 46.96s, Kyle Chalmers finished second with a time of 47.08s. In Tokyo, he will give Dressel a tough fight in the 100m freestyle.
Hungary's Kristof Milak is another threat to Caleb Dressel. At the 2017 World Championships, Kristof Milak won silver in 100m butterfly, not far behind Caeleb Dressel. In 2019, Kristof Milak won his first world championship title in the 200m butterfly. He clocked a stunning 1:50.73 and took down Michael Phelps’ decade-old world record. In Tokyo, Milak vs Dressel in 200m butterfly will keep fans on the edge of their seats.
Finally, Caeleb Dressel has to be wary of Russia’s 19-year old Andrei Minakov. Minakov won a silver in 100m butterfly at the 2019 World Championships.
Caeleb Dressel's net worth
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Caeleb Dressel's net worth is estimated to be over $3million.