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USA’s Caeleb Dressel wins his first individual gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle final

<i>Al Bello/Getty Images</i><br/>Caeleb Dressel of Team USA reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men's 100m Freestyle Final on July 29 in Tokyo
Getty Images
Al Bello/Getty Images
Caeleb Dressel of Team USA reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men's 100m Freestyle Final on July 29 in Tokyo

By Jill Martin and Madeline Holcombe, CNN

Caeleb Dressel has won the men’s 100 meter freestyle final with a time of 47.02 seconds, an Olympic record.

“I wouldn’t have changed a thing about that race,” Dressel said. “I stuck to my race plan… that’s what I had in that moment and I executed it.”

The win gives Dressel his first individual Olympic gold medal. He previously had earned three relay gold medals, including the men’s 4×100 meter freestyle relay earlier in these Games.

“It is different. I didn’t want to admit it but now that I did it, I can. It’s a lot different — you can’t rely on anyone else,” Dressel said about his first individual gold medal. “It’s just you and the water, there’s no one there to bail you out. It’s tough.”

Australia’s Kyle Chalmers earned the silver medal with a time of 47.08, while Russian Kliment Kolesnikov won bronze in 47.44.

Dressel followed other Olympic stars, such as US gymnast Simone Biles, in also speaking up about the difficulties faced by athletes.

“I don’t know if it’s set in yet,” he said after his win. “Right now, I’m just kinda hurting. But it’s been a really tough year. It’s really hard. So to have the results show up — it really came together. So I’m happy,” he said.

Biles stepped away from a dramatic team competition on Tuesday, citing mental heath concerns as she attempts to protect “her body and mind.”

“Whenever you get in a high-stress situation, you kind of freak out,” Biles told reporters on Tuesday. “I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being.

“It just sucks when you’re fighting with your own head.”

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