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This means that 3 of the top 4 seeds have now withdrawn from the race, after American Katie Ledecky and Australian Emma McKeon also both withdrew, citing illness.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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Wanna Sprite?
1 year ago

Are you serious!!!!

Reply to  Wanna Sprite?
1 year ago

As serious as a smashed vial of blood!

Joel Lin
Reply to  coacherik
1 year ago

That escalated quickly.

Reply to  coacherik
1 year ago

What a reckless comment, CoachErik …This is a team strategy. Team Canada is working together to secure as many relay positions as they can for Tokyo next summer. The ultimate in team spirit and a sacrifice of a shot at individual gold for the greater good of her team- I would say it’s good sportsmanship.

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago


[Your head]

1 year ago

I’m confused .. especially about Emma mckeons illness .. is she saving herself for the 100m freestyle or has she withdrawn from the rest of the meet? Must be serious as there is no race conflict tonight

Philip Johnson
1 year ago

So f’ing bizarre.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Every time I look around..

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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