This time, Caeleb Dressel stands alone.
The American won his record eighth medal at the world swimming championships Sunday, helping the U.S. to silver in the 400-meter medley relay after anchor Nathan Adrian was overtaken for gold in the closing meters.
“Part of me is very happy,” Dressel said. “Part of me wants to cry that I’m done with it.”
One night after becoming the first swimmer to win three golds in one night at a worlds for the second time, Dressel’s haul included six golds.
Two years ago in Hungary, Dressel tied Michael Phelps’ record of seven golds at a single worlds, including three in one night.
Dressel hauled the U.S. from fourth to first on his butterfly leg with a split of 49.28 seconds. Adrian found himself in a three-way fight with Britain and Russia coming down the stretch.
Brit Duncan Scott surged ahead approaching the wall and got there first with a split of 46.14 to Adrian’s 47.60.
“That last 15 meters, it’s tough,” Adrian said. “I was trying to be strong, I was trying to hold on, but this time I couldn’t do it.”
Luke Greenbank, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Scott took gold for Britain in 3 minutes, 28.10 seconds.
Ryan Murphy, Andrew Wilson, Dressel and Adrian finished in 3:28.45. It was just the second silver, and first since 1998, in an event the Americans have won 13 times.
Dressel’s golds came in the 50 and 100 free, 50 and 100 butterfly, mixed 400 free relay and 400 free relay. His other silver was in the mixed 400 medley relay. He was named the FINA male swimmer of the meet.
The U.S. team finished atop the medals table with 27, including a leading 14 golds.
Australia was second with 19 and five golds.
Simone Manuel completed a sweep of the 50 and 100 freestyles, the first American woman to achieve the feat. She won four golds and six medals overall in the eight-day competition.
She came back later to anchor the U.S. to an easy victory in the 400 medley relay. Regan Smith, Lilly King, Kelsi Dahlia and Manuel won in 3:50.40, lowering the mark of 3:51.55 set two years ago in Hungary.
Smith set a world record of 57.57 on her opening 100 backstroke leg.
Manuel outdid Australia’s Cate Campbell on the final leg, with the Americans winning by 3.02 seconds. The Aussies settled for silver and Canada took bronze.
In the 50 free, Manuel raced one length of the pool in 24.05. She won the 100 free in 52.04.
Manuel’s other medals came in relays: gold in the 400 medley and mixed 400 free, and silvers in the 400 free and 800 free.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom became the first woman to win five medals in individual events at a single worlds. She won the 50 butterfly, silvers in the 100 fly and 50 free, and bronzes in the 100 free and 200 free, and earned FINA female swimmer of the meet.