Two teenagers have stormed the world at the World Swimming Championships as a mystery surrounds the sudden departure of a US star.
After Caeleb Dressel, one of the veterans expected to dominate the World Swimming Championships, unexpectedly left the race on Thursday (AEST), two teenagers, 17-year-old David Popovici and Summer McIntosh, 15, took the first step of the podium. .
Dressell, a seven-time Olympic gold medalist, “had retired for medical reasons. For his long-term health, “Lindsay Mintenko, Swimming CEO for the US team, told the media at the beginning of the evening session.
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“He just is not capable of playing at the moment. And so we just had to make that decision. “It had to be a quick decision,” he added.
“Obviously he has a lot of facts left. And so it was a quick decision we made in collaboration with him and our medical staff and coaches.
“It’s the right decision, especially for Caeleb’s long-term health. And finally that is why we are here, for the health of our athletes “.
No further explanation was given, as it remained a mystery as to why Dressel had retired.
Popovici then won one of the Dressel events, the men’s 100m freestyle, and McIntosh won the women’s 200m butterfly.
In the other individual finals, 20-year-old Frenchman Leon Marchand completed the men’s 200m doubles and Kylie Masse won a second gold in Canada when she won the women’s 50m backstroke.
The evening ended with another US team veteran star, Katie Ledecky, setting a place in the record books with the winning women’s 200m relay team.
It was Ledecky’s 21st medal at the World Championships, more than any other woman. The Australian team with Madi Wilson, Leah Neale, Kiah Melverton and Mollie O’Callaghan took the silver while Canada, with McIntosh collecting the second medal of the day, retained the bronze.
Dessel had already won two gold medals in Budapest before his last fight earlier in the week. It was a race in the 100 meters freestyle and the Olympian qualified just second fastest behind Popovici.
The teenager was asked after the final if he had scared Dursell.
“I do not think so, I think he is too big a boy to run away from someone like me or honestly anyone, but I hope he is well and I hope he comes back stronger,” he said.
Popovici, who had become the first Romanian to win a world title when he took the 200m freestyle, became the first man to make the double 100-200 freestyle at a world championship after American Jim Montgomery in 1973.
The Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband repeated the rare achievement at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
“I’m glad we managed to write a small page in the history of swimming,” Popovic said. “Some would say a huge page, but we like to keep it low-key.
“I’m glad I have two golds now, I think it will be very heavy to carry.”
Popovici beat French Maxime Grousset 0.6 seconds and Canadian Joshua Liendo 0.13.
“In the 200m I was surprised by how much I won. “This time I was surprised by how little we won,” he said, adding that he preferred the 200m race.
“I think 200 meters more is a smart race.”
In the 100 two laps, he said, “we have to get out as fast as we can and come back as fast as possible. It’s a breed of animal instinct. ”
At 15, McIntosh is even younger than Popovici. Canada broke the junior world record as it added the 200m butterfly to the silver it had won in the 400m freestyle on the start day of this year’s race.
McIntosh beat Hali Flickinger of the United States 0.88 seconds behind Zhang Yufei of China third.
“I literally gave my all and did what I could, and I put all my energy and all my focus, and I just stretched myself against the wall and put my hand on the wall as fast as I could,” McIntosh said.
Marchand, who claimed the 400m title at the weekend, took the lead in the front and held it in the final lap to finish in 1 minute 55.22 seconds, beating American Carson Foster and Japanese bronze medalist Daiya Setiya.
The second Canadian Olympic gold medalist, Masse, a relative timer at 26, had won gold in the 100m backstroke at the previous two World Championships and a silver in Budapest.
He has never won a major medal in the shortest distance.