Robert Finke Withdraws from World University Games


American swimmer Robert Finke was scheduled to be the top seed in the men’s 1500 free on Friday at the 2019 World University Games, but has withdrawn from the meet.

Finke was originally due to be one of the headline swimmers for the Americans at this meet. On Friday, he was due to be the top seed in the 1500 free by 20 seconds. He was also originally entered in Sunday’s 800 free, where he was also the top seed, though by a smaller margin of just 3-tenths of a second.

USA Swimming didn’t replace his spot in either event, meaning that they’ll have just one entrant in each. American swimmer Nicholas Norman (15:08.81) becomes the top seed in the men’s 1500 free, while Germany’s Henning Muehlleitner is now penciled-in as the top seed in the men’s 800 free (7:51.73).

Finke, who just completed his freshman season at Florida, brought big hope to the American team in the distance frees: the US hasn’t medaled in either the men’s 800 free or men’s 1500 free since Sean Ryan won the latter in 2013. Michael Klueh won the 800 two years prior – the last American medal in that event.

Finke swam at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, where he scored the 3rd-fastest time in the 1500 (14:48.79), but couldn’t win a medal as the 3rd-fastest American. He also swam the 1500 at the 2017 World Championships while still in high school, placing 15th overall.

In his freshman season at Florida, Finke broke the SEC Championship Record in the 1650 free and swam the 5th-fastest time in the 1650 yard free in history.

The other big scratch on day 3 is that of Spain’s Lidon Munoz Del Campo, who was the 3rd seed in the women’s 100 free in 54.64. That moves Germany’s Lisa Hopink up to the 3rd position in that race behind the Americans Veronica Burchill and Gabby DeLoof. DeLoof had the fastest split of the field in the women’s 400 free relay on Thursday (53.8), while Burchill led that relay off almost a second slower than her best time. That shifts DeLoof to favorite status in the race, even as the #2 seed.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Wow! Heartbreaking. So hoping it’s temporary.

Alec Scott
3 years ago

Would they be able to allow Trey Freeman to swim either in his place?

Reply to  Alec Scott
3 years ago

Mile and 200free same day.

Reply to  SpeedRacer
3 years ago

And no you can’t fill for a late scratch at these meets. Hope he is ok!

3 years ago

Was he in Naples?

3 years ago

I hope he’s ok

3 years ago

Go Norman!!!

3 years ago

Does anyone know what happened to him at NCAAs? it was surprising after seeing how well he did at SECs

Reply to  Yoyoyoyoyo
3 years ago

Someone on SwimSwam said he fell sick. No idea if its true.

3 years ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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, …

Read More »