Taylor Ruck Makes 3 of Top 4 Seeds in 200 Free Scratches at World Championships


The field in the women’s 200 free is shrinking by the minute: Canada’s Taylor Ruck is the latest to drop out of the field before Tuesday morning’s prelims session in Gwangju.

This means that 3 of the top 4 seeds have now withdrawn from the race, after American Katie Ledecky and Australian Emma McKeon also both withdrew, citing illness. Ruck, however, is not claiming illness, but coaches instead want to “protect her performances for the rest of the world championships.”

“It’s her first world championships and she was looking at swimming a very busy program consisting of four individual events which would have heats, semifinals and finals, and potentially four or five relays,” National Coach John Atkinson says. “We have made this decision in consultation with Taylor and her coach Ben Titley at the High Performance Centre – Ontario to protect her performances for the rest of the world championships. Dropping the 200-m freestyle swims from her program will allow her to focus on her remaining events. The world championships this year is the prelude to Olympic Games preparation next year and this is all part of keeping the long-term best interests of the athlete at the centre of the decision.”

Ruck and Ledecky are usual training-mates at Stanford, but has been training for the last month in Toronto under Titley in the run-up to the World Championships (since Mare Nostrum).

Ruck, who was raised in America and competes at American college Stanford, but holds dual Canadian citizenship and has spent time training in Toronto as well, won the 200 free at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Pan Pac Championships.

That leaves Australia’s Ariarne Titmus, already with a 400 free gold under her belt, as the top seed, followed by France’s Charlotte Bonnet, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, and Italy’s Federica Pellegrini. Both Sjostrom and Pellegrini have waxed and waned on their commitment to the event, but now have a huge opportunity for medals – for Pellegrini, that would make a medal at an astonishing 8 consecutive World Championships.

Ruck is currently at the training pool with her Canadian teammates that are not racing on Tuesday morning.

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3 years ago

I thought she would medal with Ledecky and McKeon out.

3 years ago

In the end it is none of our business. It is important to remind some on this forum that they are not a time but human.

3 years ago

I get that the Olympics are the main focus but this is getting ridiculous. These are still the World Championships for crying out loud. If the Commonwealth and Pan Pacs champion can’t swim her best event at the World Championships, what event is big enough for her to exert herself? The Intergalactic Games with all of humanity on the line?

Swimming onlooker
Reply to  Atohitotsu
3 years ago

With all the other scratches, maybe the thought is to give oleksiak a shot at a medal

3 years ago

As much as I understand her purpose of saving energy for other races, I can imagine the 3rd best Canadian 200 freestyler feeling extremely disappointed she can’t swim this event just because Ruck (or her coach) overestimated Ruck’s ability to handle her schedule

Reply to  Justhereforfun
3 years ago

I’m not sure Kayla Sanchez would have ended up swimming the race either, unfortunately

3 years ago

Not sure why people are upset at Ruck. Based on the article, doesn’t sound like she asked to skip the 200. If your National coach and your coach say u should skip a race for the rest of the meet…

In any case, I recall people were up in arms for her busy schedule resulted in poor performance a few years back… I guess she and Team Canada should have asked the comment session here. 🙂

NC Swim Fan
3 years ago

Ruck might not even be on that finals relay. Masse back and Oleksiak free.

Swimming onlooker
Reply to  NC Swim Fan
3 years ago

Ruck is faster than Oleksiak

13 % Chinese person
3 years ago

Her 2019 sb is high 1.56s right?

3 years ago

I am disappointed considering this was meant to be the most exciting race

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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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