TOKYO (NewsNation Now) — Swimmer Caeleb Dressel led off a U.S. victory in the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay Monday at the Tokyo Olympics securing the gold. Dressel then passed the prize to a fellow teammate.
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.
Videos showed Dressel tossing his medal into the stands to teammate Brooks Curry, who swam in the relay prelims the night before, helping secure the American’s spot in the final.
“I felt good the whole way, I knew I had to get my hand in the wall first and get some clean water,” Dressel said. “And everyone did their job. It’s a relay for a reason, it’s four guys for a reason, it’s certainly not just me. It’s certainly not just one guy.”
Although Dressel’s gesture was honorable, every U.S. relay member will receive a gold medal regardless of what round they swam in.
The 24-year-old, tattooed Floridian swam the first leg in a blistering 47.26. Pieroni and Becker kept the Americans out front before Apple turned in an anchor leg of 46.69 to leave no doubt at the end.
The U.S. won the gold with the third-fastest time in history. Italy took the silver in 3:10.11, with the bronze going to Australia in 3:10.22.
Since the 4x100m freestyle relay was introduced at the 1964 Tokyo Games, the U.S. have won a medal in the event at every Games, including 10 golds.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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