Testing time for Dressel as American nears compatriot Phelps's medal-haul record

Reuters
Caeleb Dressel won three golds in a single evening, the penultimate day of the worlds, and is within reach of Michael Phelps's haul of seven at the 2007 edition in Australia.
Reuters
Reuters

Caeleb Dressel of the US competes in the men's 100-meter butterfly final en route to winning the gold medal at the FINA world championships in Budapest, Hungary, on July 29, 2017.

Caeleb Dressel has to sit an algebra exam on Monday. In the meantime the standout star of Budapest's Duna Arena is busy closing in on Michael Phelps's record of seven gold medals at one edition of the FINA world championships.

The 20-year-old American won three golds in a single evening on Saturday, the penultimate day of the championships, and is within reach of Phelps's haul of seven at the 2007 edition in Australia.

Dressel took his tally in Budapest to six when he collected individual titles in the men's 50-meter freestyle and 100 butterfly and a leadoff gold in the mixed 4x100 freestyle for a swift United States quartet who smashed their own world record.

In the final event as the championships close on Sunday, the American competes in the 4x100 medley where he can equal Phelps's feat.

Then it will be time for his algebra exam.

"I've tried to study but I've been busy," Dressel told reporters. "I had to do it at the trials, too. It's tough being in college but my teachers are lenient so I have to thank my algebra teacher.

"It comes with being a college athlete so I'm doing the best I can."

The leniency is well deserved after Dressel's history-making continued apace on Saturday.

The University of Florida swimmer became the fourth man to win both the 50 and 100 freestyle titles at a world championship after Alexandr Popov, Anthony Ervin and Cesar Cielo.

His victory in the men's 100 butterfly on Saturday made him the first man to win both blue riband, two-length events at a world championships and he got to within 0.04 seconds of Phelps's world record.

"It is humbling to be that close but it's nice to stay hungry," Dressel said.

His 50 freestyle win ended a 10-year hiatus for America in the race dubbed the "splash and dash" after Ben Wildman-Tobriner's last victory at the 2007 championships in Melbourne.

How does Dressel view being mentioned alongside his great compatriot Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time?

"The comparisons are inevitable," he said. "I'm not the same person as Michael. I don't think it puts any more pressure on me."

Looking ahead to Sunday's final effort, Dressel added: "I'm really tired but I've got the 100m left and I'm looking forward to it."

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