2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- All sports: Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- Pool swimming: Sunday, July 21 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- The Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, Korea
- Meet site
- Competition Schedule
- FinaTV Live Stream
- Entry Lists
- Start Lists
In a huge turn of events, American swimming icon Katie Ledecky will be dropping out of the women’s 200m freestyle at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.
Per Team USA Managing National Team Director Lindsey Mintenko, “A decision has been made by Team USA in consultation with Katie, her coach and the team’s medical staff for her to withdraw from the 200-meter freestyle event on medical grounds. The team will determine her participation in this evening’s 1500m final later in the day.”
The statement continues, “Katie has not been feeling well since arriving to Gwangju on July 17th and these precautionary measures are being taken to ensure her wellbeing and proper recovery and to allow her to focus her energy on an abbreviated schedule.”
Ledecky suffered her first loss in the 400 free at an international meet on day 1 here in Gwangju, when 18-year-old Ariarne Titmus of Australia surged at the end of the race to beat the American icon. The Olympic champion did not mention being ill during the post-race press conference.
Ledecky swam the 1500m free heats on Monday morning, taking the top seed as the overwhelming favorite.
FINA rules do not apparently allow for ‘replacement swimmers’ after the entry deadline, so the USA will not be able to replace Ledecky in the 200 free.
In terms of the 200m, Ledecky isn’t on as solid ground internationally as in her other events, earning silver and bronze at the 2017 World Championships and Pan Pacific Championships, respectively. But, she enters these Championships as the 3rd fastest woman in the world this season in 1:55.32.
After the thrilling 400m free battle, Titmus’ coach Dean Boxall of St. Peters Western stated he thought that Ledecky would ‘come out like a caged tiger’ due to the loss. With Ledecky out of the heats, Titmus has a solid chance of collecting double gold. The Aussie is already ranked #1 in the world with her lifetime best of 1:54.30 notched in April of this year.
The U.S. still has Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt entered in this morning’s 200m free heats, while Ashley Twichell will be in the 1500m free final for USA.
If Ledecky were to scratch the 1500m final for this evening, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte would move into the final, currently sitting 9th as 1st alternate.
More news will be added to this article as soon as we’re made aware.