Gwangju: American star Caeleb Dressel, swimming's chiselled, tattooed pin-up boy, destroyed Michael Phelps's 100 metres butterfly world record Friday as countrywoman Simone Manuel retained her 100m freestyle world title.
Reigning champ Dressel clenched a fist in the direction of flag-waving American fans after clocking an astonishing 49.50 seconds in Gwangju to eclipse the American legend's old bodysuit mark by 0.32 and rob him of a second world record in 48 hours.
Dressel's fireworks were matched in the next event when American teenager Smith crushed the women's 200m backstroke world record, before Russian Anton Chupkov emulated them as he stormed to gold in the 200m breaststroke.
But Dressel, who has already won three gold medals this week, remains the hottest ticket in South Korea.
"It can be a scary thought," said Dressel, who looks on course to match or even surpass the seven golds he scooped at the 2017 world championships in Budapest.
"I woke up today and I wanted to do it," added the 22-year-old, who logged a 21.18 in the 50m freestyle semis after a quick turnaround. "I didn't really have the nerves, I just wanted to do it. Records are meant to be broken, I hope Michael was happy watching me do that."
Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, has lost both of his 2009 long course butterfly world records in Korea after Hungarian teenager Kristof Milak destroyed his previous mark in the 200m fly.