By Peter Rutherford
GWANGJU, South Korea (Reuters) – Katie Ledecky has withdrawn from the 200 metres freestyle at the world swimming championships for medical reasons and may also have to skip the defence of her 1,500 title later on Tuesday, USA Swimming has said.
Ledecky, who won Olympic gold in the 200, 400 and 800 in Rio, had been feeling under the weather since arriving in South Korea last week, it added.
The 22-year-old had been a heavy favourite to win her fourth straight 400 world title in Gwangju but was stunned by Australia’s Ariarne Titmus on Sunday.
“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,” said the statement.
“The team will determine her participation in this evening’s 1,500m final later in the day.
“Katie has not been feeling well since arriving to Gwangju on July 17 and these precautionary measures are being taken to ensure her well-being and proper recovery, and to allow her to focus her energy on an abbreviated schedule.”
Ledecky, who has 14 world titles to her name, is also scheduled to swim all four events at the 2020 Tokyo Games after the 1,500 was added to the Olympic programme.
(Editing by Ian Ransom)