swimming

Stylish Steve Lo Bue clinches US high dive gold quest

Don’t compare me to Spitz and Phelps, says history man Dressel

AFP
19:16 July 30, 2017
Steve Lo Bue of the U.S. competes.
Men's 400m Individual Medley preliminary
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Budapest: Steve Lo Bue became the first ever high diver from the United States to win gold at a world championships, on the final day of the meet in Budapest.

Lo Bue scored 397.15 points ahead of Michal Navratil (390.90) who won the Czech Republic’s first ever medal in this event, and Italy’s Alessandro de Rose (379.65) in third place.

Lo Bue’s compatriot Andy Jones came fourth, while the previous two world champions — Britain’s Gary Hunt (2015), and Colombia’s Orlando Duque (2013) — finished in fifth and sixth place respectively.

The spectacular event took place from a 27-metre platform erected at the river Danube embankment in the Hungarian capital opposite the parliament building.

Meanwhile, Caeleb Dressel says comparisons with US swim legends Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz are premature even though he stands on the verge of matching their historic feats.

The 20-year-old Dressel became the first American swimmer to win three gold medals in one day at the world aquatic championships on Saturday.

He kicked off his historic performance at the Duna Arena by winning the 50m freestyle and the 100m butterfly golds within half an hour.

Then he helped the USA break the world-record for the mixed 4x200m freestyle for a hat-trick of golds — all inside 90 minutes.

Dressel revealed he was congratulated for his jaw-dropping exploits by Phelps via an SMS text message, but is uneasy about being compared to his idol.

“I don’t want to be compared to Michael — I love Michael,” said Dressel, who swam alongside Phelps at the 2016 Olympics.

“I love him to death, he just texted me to say ‘good job’ — he’s a heckuva guy, a heck of a leader.”

Dressel now has six gold medals in Budapest and could win a historic seventh on Sunday in the men’s 4x100m medley relay.