JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Sunday night, Caeleb Dressel led off and Zach Apple closed the door as the anchor leg as the United States won gold in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay at the Tokyo Olympics.
Dressel's opening leg of 47.26 got the United States into first place position, which the team held for the majority of the race.
Zach Apple's blistering 46.69 anchor leg left no doubt as the U.S. touched more than a second ahead of Italy, who took silver.
Speaking with NBC's Michele Tafoya+, Dressel said, "It feels great. We knew there was a huge target on our back, every go around. It was nice, I mean I'd say we dominated that pretty well."
The gold medal is Dressel's first of the Tokyo Games, where the 24-year-old has a chance at seven total gold medals across three individual events and four relays.
Dressel did not swim in the prelims. Instead, Brooks Curry completed the foursome to qualify for the final before being subbed for Dressel. Typically, relay swimmers who do not compete in the final are given their medals following the event, though Dressel made sure Curry would not have to wait that long. Shortly after stepping off the podium, Dressel handed his medal to Curry, who was in the stands.
Dressel's father is a veterinarian in Green Cove Springs, and both his parents are his #1 cheerleaders, always on the sidelines when he would swim at Clay High or in the Bolles swim program. His entire family was in Rio at the Olympics to support him.
Dressel trained for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo at his Alma Mater, the University of Florida.