Fabio Scozzoli, Victor Johansson Are Latest to Pull Out of Short Course Worlds

Two more medal contenders have withdrawn from this week’s World Short Course Championships, which are set to begin in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Sweden’s Victor Johansson will miss the meet with a broken ring finger, while Italian breaststroker Fabio Scozzoli is home in Italy after testing positive for COVID-19, again.

The two join a growing list of athletes who have pulled out in the last week, including Abbie Wood (Mono), Felipe Lima (Personal Reasons), and 15 out of 19 members of the South African delegation (including Olympic gold medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker). Interestingly, in each of these cases, there has been a different explanation – and in only one case has that explanation been a COVID-19 infection.

Sweden’s Victor Johansson Breaks His Finger

The 23-year old Johansson broke the ring finger on his right hand.

“It sounds incredibly ridiculous to say that you have an injured finger, but I really need my hand when I swim, Johansson told Dagens Nyheter. “After everything that happened last year, I can put up with an injury like this – even if obviously I would have liked for it to happen at another time. This time it’s just a finger, and it will be okay.”

Johansson had a nightmareish year in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. His testosterone levels plummeted, which testing revealed to be the result of overtraining. He then got COVID-19 and suffered from a throat infection so severe that it required surgery and 30 hours on a ventilator.

He still managed to snag a last-minute qualification for the Olympic Games, where he placed 10th in the 800 free and 18th in the 1500 free. His time in the 800 free broke the Swedish Record in 7:49.14.

That news has NCAA implications as well. Johansson trains in the United States at USC, though he was home in Sweden in the lead up to the Olympics. He has entered the NCAA transfer portal, but only with the intention of transferring next year for a graduate season afforded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was scheduled to swim the 400 and 1500 freestyles in Abu Dhabi. At USC’s mid-season NCAA meet, he swam a personal best of 1:36.0 in the 200 free, and won both the 500 free (4:14.48) and 1650 free (14:55.21).

Fabio Scozzoli Tests Positive for COVID-19, Again

Meanwhile, 33-year old Fabio Scozzoli, who has continued his success into his 30s as a circuit swimmer in the sprint breaststrokes, has tested positive for COVID-19, again. He previously tested positive during the Italian Championships earlier this month, either on November 30 or December 1.

Scozzoli told SwimSwam’s Aglaia Pezzato on Tuesday that he has tested positive again and will have to enter quarantine, missing the meet, but that he is feeling fine and showing no symptoms.

He currently ranks 9th in the world this year in the 100 breast and 5th in the 100 breast.

Italy still has 22-year old Nicolo Martinenghi, who ranks 2nd in the world this season in the 50 and 3rd in the 100, to fill out their medley relays.

Scozzoli was the 2012 World Short Course Champion in the 100 breaststroke, and has three other medals from the 2010, 2014, and 2016 editions.

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11 months ago

A small correction. November 31 doesn’t exist as a date.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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