Ledecky withdrews from world 1,500m free final, 200m heats

Ledecky withdrews from world 1,500m free final, 200m heats

GWANGJU, South Korea
Ledecky withdrews from world 1,500m free final, 200m heats

Olympic champion Katie Ledecky has pulled out of July 23's world 1,500 meters freestyle final and 200 meters heats on "medical grounds," Team USA said.

The 22-year-old, who has won 14 world titles, lost her 400 meters crown to Australian teenager Ariarne Titmus at the weekend in a stunning upset on day one of the pool competition in Gwangju.

Ledecky opted not contest July 23 morning's 200 meters freestyle heats and after assessing her condition decided to skip the evening's 1,500 meters final, an event she has dominated at the past three world championships.

Team USA officials told AFP Ledecky had not withdrawn from the remainder of the championships: Her 800 meters  freestyle heat is scheduled for July 26 morning.

But they did confirm the 14-time world champion has complained of feeling unwell since arriving in South Korea.

"Katie has not been feeling well since arriving in 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," said National Team Managing Director Lindsay Mintenko.

Canada's Taylor Ruck, the Commonwealth and Pan Pacific champion, and Australian Emma McKeon, who took silver at the 2017 world championships, also withdrew from the 200 meters to better manage heavy schedules this week.

Titmus, who posted the third fastest time of the 200 meters free heats with Sweden's Sarah Sjöström setting the pace, reacted with disappointment to Ledecky's pullout.

"Yeah a little bit because you know three girls pulled out, probably my top three challenges," said the Aussie.

"It's a little bit easier now but [Italy's world champion Federica] Pellegrini is still in there so it's still a tough challenge."