2022 FINA SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, December 13 to Sunday, December 18, 2022
- Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre, Melbourne, Australia
- SCM (25m)
- Prize Money
- Meet Site
- Meet Schedule
- How To Watch
- Meet Roster Index
- Psych Sheets (Updated)
- Live Results
- Day 2 Prelim Heat Sheet
Bingjie, who is the reigning Short Course World Champion in both the 400m and 800m freestyle, began to feel ill upon her arrival in Melbourne. After coming into the meet as the heavy favorite in both events, Bingjie scratched the 400m freestyle on day 1 of the meet, leaving Australian Lani Pallister to claim the World Championship title. It was possible that Bingjie would return for the 800m freestyle on day 2, but she once-again decided to scratch, leading to speculation about the nature of her illness.
That speculation was confirmed today as her coach Mark Schubert said that Bingjie tested positive for COVID-19 since arriving in Melbourne. Schubert also said that there were additional COVID cases amongst members of the Chinese team prior to the beginning of the meet. He did not confirm how many of those cases are currently active.
Schubert, who helped coach 8 US Olympic Teams, moved to China to coach earlier this year on a sabbatical from his “elite training group” based in Southern California, The Swim Team (TST). Prior to forming The Swim Team, Schubert was the coach of Mission Viejo for several decades across multiple stints, coaching swimmers like Janet Evans, Shirley Babashoff, Brian Goodell, Mike O’Brien, Sippy Woodhead Kaitlin Sandeno, Jessica Hardy, Larsen Jensen, Erik Vendt, Lindsay (Benko) Mintenko, Ous Mellouli, and Dara Torres.
Several other members of the Chinese team also scratched from events. It is known that other members of the team tested positive for COVID-19, but SwimSwam has not been able to confirm exactly which ones (besides Li).
There are some scratches according to the start lists:
Yang Junxuan 100 and 200 free
Yu Yiting 100,200 and 400 IM
Liu Zhitong 200 fly
Tang Qianting 100 IM
Pan Zhanle 50 free
— Chinese Swimming News and Results (@CHNswim_fan) December 11, 2022
At the 2021 edition of the SC World Championships, there were a total of 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the meet, with 15 of those cases coming from athletes. Notable swimmers who tested positive include American Olympic Champion Lydia Jacoby and Great Britain’s Max Litchfield. At those Championships, FINA, now known as World Aquatics, forced entire countries to withdraw from the meet due to positive cases and several swimmers left the competition early due to COVID concerns.
On December 12, Melbourne reported a total of 4,376 new COVID cases, though total testing data isn’t available. Last week, data showed a 4.6% increase in the positive test rate in Victoria, the state Melbourne falls under.