World Aquatics Championships: Katie Ledecky withdraws from 1,500m freestyle closing, 200m heats

Gwangju, South Korea: Olympic champion Katie Ledecky has pulled out of Tuesday’s world 1,500 metres freestyle closing and 200m heats on “medical grounds,” Team USA mentioned.

File photograph of American swimmer Katie Ledecky. Reuters

The 22-year-old, who has received 14 world titles, misplaced her 400m crown to Australian teenager Ariarne Titmus on the weekend in a shocking upset on day one of many pool competitors in Gwangju.

Ledecky opted to not contest Tuesday morning’s 200m freestyle heats and after assessing her situation determined to skip the night’s 1,500m closing — an occasion she has dominated on the previous three world championships.

Team USA officers informed AFP Ledecky had not withdrawn from the rest of the championships — her 800m freestyle warmth is scheduled for Friday morning.

But they did affirm the 14-time world champion has complained of feeling unwell since arriving in South Korea.

“Katie has not been feeling well since arriving in Gwangju on July 17 and these precautionary measures are being taken to ensure her well-being and proper recovery and to allow her to focus her energy on an abbreviated schedule,” mentioned National Team Managing Director Lindsay Mintenko.

Canada’s Taylor Ruck, the Commonwealth and Pan Pacific champion, and Australian Emma McKeon, who took silver on the 2017 world championships, additionally withdrew from the 200m to raised handle heavy schedules this week.

Titmus, who posted the third quickest time of the 200m free heats with Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom setting the tempo, reacted with disappointment to Ledecky’s pullout.

“Yeah a little bit because you know three girls pulled out — probably my top three challenges,” mentioned the Aussie.

“It’s a little bit easier now but (Italy’s world champion Federica) Pellegrini is still in there so it’s still a tough challenge.”

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