BUDAPEST, Hungary — Caeleb Dressel knows the comparisons are coming.
After pulling off an unprecedented Triple Crown at swimming’s world championships, it’s time to take on the legacy of Michael Phelps.
The 20-year-old Dressel established himself as America’s newest star of the pool Saturday, becoming the first swimmer to win three gold medals on a single night at either the worlds or the Olympics.
Not even Phelps managed such an audacious feat.
“The comparisons are probably inevitable,” Dressel said. “But I’m not the same person as Michael.”
Yet it was downright Phelps-like the way he pulled off a remarkable night of swimming at Duna Arena. Dressel raced three times over the course of about two hours — and won every time. Not to mention, he had to find time to warm down and get to three medal ceremonies.
“I think I only had to run twice,” Dressel said with a smile.
The University of Florida student — yep, he’s got an algebra exam coming up Monday that he’ll be taking online — has won six golds medals in Budapest.
That gives him a shot at moving into more rarified territory: Phelps is the only swimmer to win seven golds at a world championships, which he did at Melbourne in 2007 as a prelude to his record eight golds the following year at the Beijing Olympics.
Dressel will be a virtual lock to win his seventh when he competes on the 4×100 medley relay Sunday, the final event of the championships.
Again, those comparisons to Phelps.
“It’s a tough question,” Dressel said. “I don’t know if I welcome them. But I know they’re going to come. I don’t think it puts any pressure on me. I just…
click here to read more.