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US swimmer Caeleb Dressel celebrates freestyle relay win by gifting gold medal to teammate

US swimmer Caeleb Dressel celebrates freestyle relay win by tossing gold medal to sidelined teammate who filled in for him in qualifying heat: ‘He deserved it a little more than me’

  • Led by Caeleb Dressel, the US men’s swimming team produced a thrilling display to win the 4x100m freestyle relay at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday
  • Dressel, Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker and Zach Apple came in with a time of 3:08.97 to finish 1.14 seconds ahead of second placed Italy 
  • After receiving his gold medal, Dressel walked over to the stands and called for teammate Brooks Curry, who had subbed for Dressel in heat qualifying 
  • With members of the Australian team looking on, Dressel tossed his gold to Curry as cheers were heard from other Americans surrounding the pool
  • Dressel told reporters: ‘I had the easiest job last night out of everyone here. I got to watch it on TV, so I felt like [Curry] deserved that a little more than me’
  • Find out the latest Tokyo Olympic news including schedule, medal table and results right here

The US men’s swimming team produced a thrilling display to win the 4x100m freestyle relay at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, and star Caeleb Dressel capped the victory by sharing his gold medal with an idle teammate who helped make it possible.

Dressel, Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker and Zach Apple came in with a time of 3:08.97 to finish 1.14 seconds ahead of second placed Italy

After receiving his gold medal, Dressel walked over to the stands and called for teammate Brooks Curry, who swam in Dressel’s place during heat qualifying on Sunday so that the 24-year-old swimming star could save his energy for other events. 

Caeleb Dressel of Team United States tosses his gold medal to Brooks Curry of Team United States after winning the Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Fina

(From left to right) Zach Apple, Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker, and Caeleb Dressel of Team United States pose with their medal after winning the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre

(From left to right) Zach Apple, Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker, and Caeleb Dressel of Team United States pose with their medal after winning the Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Curry (pictured) swam in Dressel's place during heat qualifying on Sunday so that the 24-year-old swimming star could save his energy for other events.

Brooks Curry of Team United States poses with the gold medal for the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Brooks Curry (left) of Team United States poses with the gold medal (right) for the Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Curry swam in Dressel’s place during heat qualifying on Sunday so that the 24-year-old swimming star could save his energy for other events

Caeleb Dressel (center) hugs teammate Zach Apple (left) after Monday's 4X100 relay win

Caeleb Dressel (center) hugs teammate Zach Apple (left) after Monday’s 4X100 relay win

With members of the Australian team looking on, Dressel tossed his gold to Curry as cheers were heard from other Americans surrounding the pool. 

‘I had the easiest job last night out of everyone here, I got to watch it on TV, so I felt like [Curry] deserved that a little more than me,’ Dressel said, as quoted by USA Swimming.  

Although Curry did get a medal of his own, he was not included in the medal ceremony on the podium.  

Australia’s hopes of challenging for the top prize never really materialized as they trailed in 1.25 seconds adrift of the champions to claim bronze. Russia faded away early to finish seventh.

Since the 4x100m freestyle relay was introduced at the 1964 Tokyo Games, the US have won a medal in the event at every Games, including 10 golds.

The Australians had been expected to put in a strong showing but the Americans led from the start with a fast-paced opening leg from Dressel and did not look back as Apple showed he is now a core member of the team with a brilliant swim in the last leg.

‘We know there’s a target on our backs. It is tough, but if you make it you deserve to be up here,’ Dressel, who was also part of the line-up that won the event in Rio, said.

The gold in the relay for the Americans followed Chase Kalisz’s victory in the men’s 400m individual medley on Sunday.

The swimming team’s poker games in the athlete’s village were raised at a press conference for the second day in row.

‘It’s just a nice thing that doesn’t take any energy, we can sit around and talk, play cards,’ Pieroni said while clarifying that when money was involved it was ‘small stakes.’

‘It’s just a relaxing thing to do.’

(From left to right) Bowen Becker, Blake Pieroni, and Caeleb Dressel celebrate their relay win

(From left to right) Bowen Becker, Blake Pieroni, and Caeleb Dressel celebrate their relay win

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