Swimming-Testing time for Dressel as he nears Phelps's medal haul record

Swimming-Testing time for Dressel as he nears Phelps's medal haul record
By Reuters

30/07/2017 at 07:01Updated 30/07/2017 at 07:03

By Rod Gilmour

BUDAPEST, July 29 (Reuters) - Caeleb Dressel has to sit an algebra exam on Monday. In the meantime the standout star of Budapest's Duna Arena is busy closing in on Michael Phelps's record of seven gold medals at one edition of the world swimming championships.

The 20-year-old American won three golds in a single evening on Saturday, the penultimate day of the championships, and is within reach of Phelps's haul of seven at the 2007 edition in Australia.

Dressel took his tally here to six when he collected individual titles in the men's 50 metres freestyle and 100m butterfly and a lead-off gold in the mixed 4x100m freestyle for a swift U.S. quartet who smashed their own world record.

In the final event as the championships close on Sunday, the American competes in the 4x100m medley where he can equal Phelps's feat.

Then it will be time for his algebra exam.

"I've tried to study but I've been busy," Dressel told reporters. "I had to do it at trials too. It's tough being in college but my teachers are lenient so I have to thank my algebra teacher.

"It comes with being a college athlete so I'm doing the best I can."

The leniency is well deserved after Dressel's history-making continued apace on Saturday.

The University of Florida swimmer became the fourth man to win both the 50m and 100m freestyle titles at a world championship after Alexandr Popov, Anthony Ervin and Cesar Cielo.

His victory in the men's 100m butterfly on Saturday made him the first man to win both blue riband, two-length events at a world championships and he got to within 0.04 seconds of Phelps's world record.

"It is humbling to be that close but it's nice to stay hungry," Dressel said.

His 50m freestyle win ended a 10-year hiatus for America in the race dubbed the "splash and dash" after Ben Wildman-Tobriner's last victory at the 2007 championships in Melbourne.

How does Dressel view being mentioned alongside his great compatriot Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time?

"The comparisons are inevitable," he said. "I'm not the same person as Michael. I don't think it puts any more pressure on me."

Looking ahead to Sunday's final effort, Dressel added: "I'm really tired but I've got 100m left and I'm looking forward to it." (Editing by Clare Fallon)

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