Dressel won in 47.02 seconds, a new Olympic record, beating Aussie Kyle Chalmers by .06 of a second. Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov took bronze in 47.44 seconds.
After his victory, Dressel sat on the lane rope, hands raised in celebration. “Just trying to take in that moment. I’m not going to relive the 2020 100 free finals ever again so I want to take that in as much as I can,” he said.
“I thought I executed my race plan perfectly. Couldn’t change anything. That’s how I felt in that moment so I executed so I’m happy.”
Dressel has already won gold as part of the 4×100 free relay on Monday here at the Tokyo Aquatics Center. It was his third Olympic relay gold – to go with two he claimed in the Rio Games in 2016 – and first of several expected medals during the Tokyo Olympics.
Dressel, 24, has become one of the most dominant swimmers in the world since he made his Olympic debut as a college student five years ago. He is favored to win the 50 free and 100 fly here after swimming the fastest times in the world this year during the Olympic Trials in June.
Tokyo Olympics live updates:US gets surprise gold in swimming, Biles thanks supporters
Olympics Newsletter: Sign up now to get Team USA updates delivered to your inbox
Olympics text updates:Get behind-the-scenes access to the Tokyo Olympics
In addition to his remaining individual events, he is expected to be part of the USA’s mixed medley and 4×100 medley relays.
Since the last Olympics, Dressel has claimed 15 world championship medals – 13 of them gold.
Contributing: Christine Brennan