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INDIANAPOLIS — Two years after winning five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, Caeleb Dressel has failed to qualify for the world championships.

Dressel’s final attempt to make the U.S. team ended Saturday morning when he tied for 22nd in the preliminaries for the 50-meter freestyle at the national championships in Indianapolis.

He clocked a time of 22.72 seconds in the frantic sprint from one end of the pool to the other, leaving him 1.07 behind top qualifier Ryan Held and 0.59 outside the top eight that advanced to the “A” final in the evening.

Dressel did earn one more swim in the “C” final at the IU Natatorium, which will cap a week that showed just how far he has to go after taking a long break from swimming following last year’s worlds in Budapest, Hungary.

The 26-year-old Floridian competed in four events at Indianapolis, with a best showing of third place in the 50-meter butterfly, a non-Olympic event. He tied for fifth in the 100 fly and failed to advance to the main final in the 50 or 100 free.

Dressel won the 100 fly and the 50 and 100 free at the most recent Summer Games, along with two relay gold medals.

His failure to qualify for next month’s worlds in Fukuoka, Japan, deprives the second-most-important event, after the Olympics, of one of its most successful athletes.

Dressel became the first swimmer since Michael Phelps to win seven gold medals at the 2017 worlds in Budapest. He followed up with six golds and two relay silvers at the 2019 championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

At last summer’s worlds in Budapest, Dressel earned two gold medals but mysteriously dropped out of the meet, citing health reasons, after posting the second-fastest time in the 100 free preliminaries.

He largely disappeared from public view and didn’t resume training at the University of Florida until early this year.

Dressel returned to competition at a minor meet in Atlanta in May. The national championships are his first top-level competition since the 2022 worlds.

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Caeleb Dressel fails to qualify for swimming world championships