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IU swimmers add to US medal count with relay win in Tokyo

Blake Pieroni and Zach Apple formed half of the gold medal 100 Meter Freestyle Relay.

TOKYO, Japan — Team USA retained the 4x100 Meter Men's Freestyle Olympic gold medal in Tokyo Sunday night, buoyed by the performance of two Indiana Hoosier swimmers and veteran Caleb Dressel. 

The golden performance was the second for IU graduate Blake Pieroni, the former Indiana state high school champion from Chesterton who won his first gold in Rio in 2016. Auburn transfer Zach Apple anchored the quartet that won in 3:08.97, the third-fastest time in history. Italy took the silver in 3:10.11, with Australia taking the bronze in 3:10.22. 

Dressel swam the first leg in 47.26 to put the USA out front, followed by Pieroni and Bowen Becker, who handed the lead to Apple for the final leg. He brought the quartet home in a split of 46.69.

"I felt good the whole way, I knew I had to get my hand in the wall first and get some clean water," Dressel said afterward. "I knew they were going to get the job done, I wasn't scared at all. Especially when Zach hit the water. I saw him break out and I knew it was over."

Watch the race on NBCOlympics.com.

"It is easy when these three guys are leading off, giving me a lead," said Apple. "I love living in the pressure. It is why we race. It brings out the best in us."

Dressel is trying to win six gold medals, including relays, in Tokyo.

Apple will go for more gold in the 100 Meter Freestyle and 4x200 Freestyle Relay in preliminaries on Tuesday.

Credit: AP
Zach Apple of the United States men's 4x100m freestyle relay team celebrates after winning the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

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