American swimmer Kyle Dressel is re-inspired to be named “Usain Bolt the Dock” in relation to the legendary Jamaican sprinter, but he refuses to be considered the new Michael Phelps or his swimmer legend.
The 21-year-old, who last year became the second swimmer to win seven gold medals in a single championship after Phelps did so in 2007, admits that comparing him to his compatriot is a compliment, but he stresses their differences.
“What an honor, if people want to make this comparison … I’m not bothered by it, but it’s not hard to be or think about,” Dressel told AFP on the sidelines of the Pacific Pacific Games in Tokyo. Day after day”.
Dressel had played with Phelps in the US team winning the gold 4x100m freestyle race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Phelps retired after the Brazilian tournament, wrapping his neck with an Olympic record of 28 Olympic medals, including 23 gold medals.
Despite being considered the next star to swim, Dreisel is keen to play down the importance of this two years before the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where critics of the Florida-born son, who covers the tattoos of his body, play a leading role.
“I’m a very different swimmer,” said Dressel, referring to Phelps, explaining: “We swim in a different way in competitions, the only time we match the style is in the 100m butterfly.”
The young swimmer said he always followed Phelps in competitions, saying, “I remember the Beijing Games (2008) where I followed all his races … He is definitely an amazing person for many people, even outside the world of swimming.”
“We have been together for almost a year, so the atmosphere was really great.”
Phelps and Dressel were re-scored after the latter broke the Pacific Pole’s 100m butterfly on Saturday. “I had no idea of the record,” he said, coming the day after losing 100m to Australia’s Kyle Chalmers.
“All I had in mind was touching the wall (access point) first … I was happy about that, and I can not ask for anything else.”
Dressel returned to the pool on Saturday to help the US team win the 4x100m freestyle, but the gold medal went to the Brazilian team after the US team was ruled out for technical error.
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