Caeleb Dressel, Sarah Sjöström take FINA Swimmer of the Year honors
One more honor for Caeleb Dressel to cap a breakout 2017 -- FINA Male Swimmer of the Year.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström won Female Swimmer of the Year.
Dressel won seven gold medals at the world championships in July, matching Michael Phelps’ record, though Dressel had the benefit of mixed-gender relays that weren’t around in the Phelps era.
Dressel’s performances at worlds also led him to win USA Swimming’s Male Athlete of the Year award and be a finalist for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s annual male athlete honor. Kyle Snyder won the latter.
The 21-year-old Dressel took the FINA honor via the swimming body’s points formula that could use a little more detailed explanation.
The other top swimmers this year were Brit Adam Peaty (world’s top breaststroker), Chinese Sun Yang (world champion in 200m and 400m freestyles) and American Chase Kalisz (swept individual medleys at worlds).
Dressel joins Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, Phelps and Jordan Wilimovsky (open water) as the only Americans to take home FINA Swimmer of the Year honors. They have been handed out since 2010.
Sjöström, 24, won the 50m and 100m butterflies and the 50m freestyle at worlds. She also broke the 50m and 100m free world records.
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, who swept the individual medleys at worlds for a third straight time, won the last three FINA Female Swimmer of the Year awards.
Katie Ledecky, who had her best medal haul at a major meet ever (five golds, one silver), won the FINA award once in 2013. Ledecky would score higher in FINA’s rankings system if she competed in World Cups, which the majority of the top Americans skip.
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