BUDAPEST, Hungary — Two-time world champion Caleb Dressel failed to defend his title after withdrawing from the men’s 100-meter freestyle at the World Swimming Championships before the semifinals.
Dressel was included in the initial starting lineup for Tuesday’s Budapest semi-final, but there was no update, and was replaced by South Korean substitute Hwang Sun-woo.
“Team USA, in consultation with Caeleb, his coach and the team’s medical staff, has decided to withdraw him from the 100-meter freestyle competition for medical reasons. The team will determine his participation in these events later this week,” USA Swimming said. told The Associated Press in a statement.
Dressel will compete in the men’s 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly later in the world.
Dressel was second in the semifinals with a time of 47.95, behind Romania’s David Popovic, who had the fastest time of 47.60.
Popovich was even faster in the semifinals, setting a junior world record at 47.13.
But the 17-year-old Popovich would prefer to play Dressel.
“It’s kind of a shame I didn’t do it. But at the moment, I just hope he’s okay because I don’t really know what happened,” Popovich told The Associated Press. “But I’m sure he and his team made the right choice for whatever happened or their plans because I’m sure they have great people behind them.”
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