According to the Florida Swimming LSC, U.S. World Championship Team member Robert Finke battled a “102+ fever” in the days leading up to his swim in Budapest.
Finke, the youngest male member of Team USA at this year’s World Championships, swam to a 21st-place finish on Saturday morning in prelims of the 1500 free. The top 8 advance to the final, so that will be his only swim of the meet.
Finke’s 15:15.15 was about 14 seconds slower than he went at U.S. Nationals almost exactly a month ago, and according to a Tweet from his home LSC in Florida, illness was at least in part a factor:
Robert Finke finally back in the water. Two days of 102+ fever and 5 pounds lighter. Finally back in the water. pic.twitter.com/HSmxxqtuYf
— Florida Swimming LSC (@FloridaSwimLSC) July 24, 2017
A 102-degree fever is considered “intermediate grade” for adults. The weight loss can be particularly damaging, as such a drastic weight loss during illness can bring both dehydration and muscle weakening.
In spite of the illness and subsequent time add, no swimmer younger than Finke finished higher than the 17-year old Finke in the 1500 on Saturday morning. The USA won’t have any finalists in the event – the other American entrant True Sweetser finished 16th in 15:07.38.