2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Reigning two-time world champion Caeleb Dressel will not be defending his title in the men’s 100 freestyle at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest.
USA Swimming told SwimSwam Dressel’s scratch was due to medical reasons.
USA Swimming’s National Team Managing Director Lindsay Mintenko offered the following statement:
A decision has been made by Team USA in consultation with Caeleb, his coach, and the team’s medical staff for him to withdraw from the 100-meter freestyle event on medical grounds. The team will determine his participation in the events later in the week.
The 25-year-old has won the event at the last two World Championships along with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and is the only swimmer in history to break 47 seconds in a textile suit.
Dressel was ranked second coming out of the prelims in a time of 47.95, trailing Romanian David Popovici (47.60).
The matchup was one fans were anxiously anticipating, especially after Popovici’s dominant victory in the 200 free on Monday.
With Dressel’s scratch, South Korea’s Hwang Sunwoo, who won silver behind Popovici in the 200 free, gets bumped up into the semi-finals after tying for 17th in the prelims in a time of 48.61.
Hwang tied with Australia’s Zac Incerti, though it appears Incerti scratched to avoid a swim-off for first alternate. Incerti was dealing with an illness earlier that kept him off the Aussie 400 free relay.
Dressel is also scheduled to race the men’s 50 free and 100 fly individually later on in the competition, with both prelim heats running on Thursday morning.