In case you follow swimming only every four years, here’s a new name to learn: Caeleb Dressel.
The 20-year-old University of Florida student won his seventh gold medal at World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Sunday – tying him with Michael Phelps for most golds at the meet. Three of those were in individual races, four were in relays.
A day before, Dressel set a record all his own: three gold medals in a single night.
In the span of two hours on Saturday, Dressel won the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter butterfly, and was part of a victorious mixed 4×100 free relay team. He was named the top male swimmer of the meet.
“Man, that was a lot of fun,” he said.
“Phelps’ feat still stands supreme since five of his seven golds were in individual events, and he didn’t have the benefit of the mixed relays,” the AP notes. Mixed relays, with men and women on the same team, are a new event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
After his big night on Saturday, Dressel was asked about the inevitable comparisons to Phelps.
“I don’t know if I welcome them,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “But I know they’re going to come. I don’t think it puts any pressure on me. I just want to keep doing my thing at this meet and for the future.”
Phelps offered his congratulations on Saturday. “This kid is on fire!!” Phelps posted on Instagram.