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SWIMMING

Caeleb Dressel breaks world record in 100-meter butterfly, Katie Ledecky beats Aussie Ariarne Titmus

Caeleb Dressel (left) greets Kristof Milak of Hungary after wining the gold medal in the men's 100-meter butterfly Saturday morning.
Caeleb Dressel (left) greets Kristof Milak of Hungary after wining the gold medal in the men's 100-meter butterfly Saturday morning.David Goldman/Associated Press

TOKYO — Caeleb Dressel added a world record to his growing medal haul.

Katie Ledecky closed out her Olympics with another victory, too.

Continuing his march to being perhaps the biggest star of the Tokyo Games, Dressel won his third gold medal with a world record in the 100-meter butterfly Saturday.

About 20 minutes later, Ledecky claimed her expected gold in the 800 freestyle, though she was pushed hard by Australian rival Ariarne Titmus.

Ledecky finished up with two golds, two silver and a fifth-place finish at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre — not as successful as she was five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, but not bad at all.

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Caeleb Dressel surged to a world record in his 100-meter butterfly win.
Caeleb Dressel surged to a world record in his 100-meter butterfly win.Ryan Pierse/Getty

Dressel led right from the start and held off Hungary’s Kristof Milak to touch in 49.45 seconds, breaking the mark of 49.50 that the American set at the 2019 world championships in Gwangju.

Milak, winner of the 200 fly, earned the silver with a blistering 49.68. The bronze went to Switzerland’s Noe Ponti.

When he saw the “WR” beside his name, Dressel smiled and joined hands with Milak in the lane next to him. They raised their arms together before Dressel flexed his left arm and pumped it in the air.

From the nearly empty stands, the cheers from Dressel’s teammates rang through the arena. When he was announced as the Olympic champion, he raised his right arm again as he walked along the deck.

He didn’t want to exert too much energy; he had two more races on his morning schedule.

Katie Ledecky captured gold in the 800-meter freestyle.
Katie Ledecky captured gold in the 800-meter freestyle.JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images

Ledecky became the first female swimmer to capture six individual gold medals with her third straight Olympic title in the 800 free.

Ledecky led all the way in a race she hasn’t lost since 2010, winning with a time of 8 minutes, 12.57 seconds .

Titmus closed strong to claim the silver in 8:13.83, while the bronze went to Italy’s Simona Quadarella in 8:18.35.

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Ledecky lost her first two individual matchups with Titmus, but finally beat the Terminator in their final showdown.

“To be able to watch Katie actually race somebody this Olympics was really exciting,” American teammate Katie Grimes said. “We don’t get to see that very often.”

The Australian women did claim another gold.

Kaylee McKeown completed a sweep of the backstroke events with a victory in the 200 butterfly. Her winning time was 2:04.68.

The silver went to Canada’s Kylie Masse in 2:05.42, with another Australian, Emily Seebohm, claiming the bronze in 2:06.17.

Americans Rhyan White and Phoebe Bacon finished fourth and fifth. The world-record holder, Regan Smith, stunningly failed to qualify for the event at the US trials.

It’s been a huge Olympics for the Aussie women. They have won six of their team’s seven gold medals at the pool.

Dressel’s victory started off a busy morning.

Just minutes after collecting his gold medal, he hustled back to the deck for the semifinals of the 50 freestyle, where he set the top qualifying time of 21.42.

He also anchored the 4x100 mixed medley relay, a new Olympic event that features two men and two women on each team. Britain claimed gold with a world record of 3 minutes, 37.58 seconds.

The silver went to China in 3:38.86, while Australia took the bronze in 3:38.95.

The American swimmers were fifth, ending Dressel’s bid to win six gold medals. His hopes were snuffed out before he even dove in the pool.

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The Americans tried a different strategy than everyone else, going with Dressel on the freestyle while the other seven teams all closed with a woman.

When 18-year-old Torri Huske passed off to Dressel after the butterfly leg, the Americans were more than 7 seconds behind the leaders in last place.

Dressel turned in the fastest time, but it wasn’t nearly enough to chase down all the teams ahead of him.

Simone Manuel leaves the pool Saturday after failing to qualify for the finals in the women's 50-meter freestyle.
Simone Manuel leaves the pool Saturday after failing to qualify for the finals in the women's 50-meter freestyle.David Goldman/Associated Press

Meanwhile, Simone Manuel’s Olympics are over.

The American swimmer failed to advance from the semifinals of the 50-meter freestyle. Her time of 24.63 seconds was 11th-fastest, eliminating her from Sunday’s final. Only the top eight advance.

At the 2016 Rio Games, Manuel became the first Black American woman to win an individual swimming gold medal in the 100 freestyle. She also claimed a silver in the 50 free.

This time, her preparations were hampered by overtraining syndrome. She failed to make the US team in the 100 free, leaving the 50 as her only individual event. She did claim a bronze medal in the 4x100 free relay.

Australia’s Emma McKeon was the top qualifier, setting an Olympic record for the second day in a row with a time of 24.00.