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Caeleb Dressel ‘lucky’ after motorcycle incident in June

Pan Pacific Swimming Championships - Day 3

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 11: Caeleb Dressel of the United States reacts after competing in the Man’s 100m Butterfly heat on day three of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships at Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center on August 11, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

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Caeleb Dressel downplayed a motorcycle incident in June where he was forced to drive onto a grassy median.

“It wasn’t anything too big,” Dressel told Ahmed Fareed during NBC Sports’ coverage of the Pan Pacific Championships. “I had a gentleman pull out in front of me, so I had to avoid him. ... Nothing major [of the injuries]. A few minor things. Other than that, I was fine. ... I think the accident was as lucky as I could have gotten with it. It maybe, maybe didn’t interfere with my training.”

Dressel, who won a Michael Phelps-record-tying seven gold medals at the 2017 World Championships, was slower in all of his events at nationals and the just-completed Pan Pacs than a year ago.

That included his first race after the incident, when he finished sixth in the 100m freestyle at nationals two weeks ago. His coach, Gregg Troy at the University of Florida, called it the worst thing that’s happened to Dressel in the pool in four years.

At Pan Pacs, Dressel won the 100m butterfly and finished second in the 50m and 100m frees, all events he won at 2017 Worlds. Pan Pacs fields are weaker than worlds because the meet does not include European nations or China’s best swimmers.

Dressel said his motorcycle is finally repaired, but it sounds like he won’t be riding it again soon.

“A lot of people have put a temporary hold on me,” he said, “probably a permanent one.”

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