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Ledecky favorite to become first woman to win Olympic gold in same event four times

Caeleb Dressel triumphed in the 100m butterfly at the US Olympic swimming trials, securing his place for another title defense in Paris. Katie Ledecky also shone, aiming for her historic fourth consecutive gold in the 800m freestyle.

Dressel concluded his emotionally charged return to the trials with a victory on Saturday, adding to his earlier win in the 50m free. He dominated the race with his explosive start, touching the wall first in 50.19 seconds, ahead of 17-year-old Thomas Heilman who finished second in 50.80 seconds.

Heilman had already made waves by winning the 200m butterfly and becoming the youngest male US swimmer to qualify for the Olympics since Michael Phelps and Aaron Piersol in 2000.

“This is definitely the toughest part,” Dressel acknowledged about the high-pressure US trials, where only the top two in each event secure an Olympic spot. “It’s a tough team to make, and that’s how it should be,” added Dressel, who clinched five gold medals in Tokyo but took a break from the sport in 2022.

Reflecting on the trials, held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Dressel described the rollercoaster of emotions. “I think I’ve experienced every emotion possible,” he said. “The key is taking it one stroke at a time. I’m relieved it’s over,” added Dressel, who was supported throughout the week by his wife Meghan and their four-month-old son August.

Meanwhile, Ledecky secured her fourth victory of the week in the 800m freestyle, a journey that began with her surprising gold at the age of 15 in the 2012 London Olympics. Clocking 8:14.12, she continued to assert her dominance in the event, with Paige Madden finishing second in a personal best time of 8:20.71.

Looking ahead to Paris, Ledecky is favored to achieve a historic feat in Olympic swimming by winning the same event four times, a feat only achieved by Michael Phelps in the men’s 200m individual medley

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