A 2016 Olympic gold medalist, Held won with a time of 21.87 seconds, which is a new personal record for him. Both his swims in the prelims and the finals were his first under 22 seconds, where he set new personal best times.
“Well, that was the first time under 22 seconds so I was really happy with that .01 drop,” Held said.
When asked what motivated him for this race, he noted that it was his “desire to be fast.” “The desire to be No. 1 and be on top. Just always wanting to be better. To be one of the top sprinters and try to write my name in the history book,” Held explained.
Held expressed that he had a “great meet overall” this year, unlike the previous year. He noted that he felt sad and down after last year’s performance, and his coaches were trying to cheer him up. “I was like ‘I never want to do that again. Never want to feel in this position again.’ My coach, Dan from NC State, and I were just talking about that again: how it was totally 180 this year and just so much different, so much better,” he remarked.
At the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships in Stanford, California, Held swept both the men’s 50 meter freestyle and the 100 meter freestyle titles.
Held will be competing for the Los Angeles Current as part of the International Swimming League (ISL) with four-time Olympic medalist Lenny Krayzelburg as the General Manager.
Read More: Digital Journal chatted with Ryan Held earlier this summer.