Sun a sur­prise no-show in 1500m heats at worlds

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Sun Yang was a sur­prise ab­sen­tee in the men’s 1500m freestyle heats yes­ter­day as the world-record holder again opted out at the world aquatic cham­pi­onships. A Chi­nese of­fi­cial told re­porters the de­ci­sion was taken to ‘pro­tect his health’ as Sun has com­plained of tired­ness. De­spite his no-show, the 25-year-old Chi­nese gi­ant trained yes­ter­day and is due to race in the men’s 4x100m med­ley re­lay to­day.

Sun has a his­tory of drop­ping out of the 1500m at the 11th hour at world cham­pi­onships. He was a no-show for the men’s fi­nal in 2015 af­ter cit­ing heart prob­lems dur­ing the warm-up. Af­ter win­ning freestyle golds over 200m and 400m in Bu­dapest, Sun had com­plained of fa­tigue be­fore flop­ping in the men’s 800m freestyle fi­nal on Wed­nes­day.

He fin­ished fifth, 8.10 sec­onds adrift of win­ner Gabriele Detti of Italy. In Sun’s ab­sence, Ukraine’s Mykhailo Ro­manchuk was the fastest qual­i­fier for to­day’s 1500m fi­nal in 14 min­utes, 44.11 sec­onds. De­fend­ing cham­pion Gre­go­rio Pal­trinieri was right be­hind at 0.20sec. Aus­tralia’s Mack Hor­ton was the sev­enth fastest and 15.13sec off the pace. “It was a slow heat, I felt pretty good early on,” said Hor­ton, who won sil­ver be­hind Sun in last Sun­day’s 400m fi­nal.

“I’ve just been do­ing 1500 heats in the last cou­ple of days to blow away the cob­webs af­ter sit­ting around for the last cou­ple of days.”

STORMING SJOSTROM

Else­where, Sarah Sjostrom used her frus­tra­tion at miss­ing gold by 0.04sec in Fri­day’s 100m freestyle fi­nal to blast her way into the 50m freestyle semis. Sjostrom clocked 24.08sec as the fastest into yes­ter­day’s semis. “I’m still dis­ap­pointed about the sil­ver last night, so it’s nice to only swim 50 this time,” she said.

“I just need to keep that speed and swim fast when it mat­ters.” Den­mark’s Pernille Blume, bronze medal­list over 100m on Fri­day, was sec­ond fastest at 0.24sec. “It was a fine feel­ing for me. It was a pow­er­ful swim but I didn’t sprint at all,” said Blume. Ja­pan’s Junya Koga was the fastest into the men’s 50m back­stroke semi-fi­nals, touch­ing the wall at 24.54sec. France’s Camille La­court, the de­fend­ing cham­pion was sec­ond quick­est at 0.04sec be­hind.

“I’m happy with the way it’s go­ing, there’s a bit more left,” said La­court, 32. “I just want to do the job now in the semi-fi­nal.” China’s Xu Ji­ayu, who won the men’s 100m back­stroke gold on Tues­day, and Amer­ica’s Matt Gre­vers, 32, the 100m sil­ver medal­list, clocked a joint third fastest time at 0.24sec.

Rus­sia’s Yuliya Efimova and Amer­ica’s Lilly King re­sumed their bat­tle royal in the women’s 50m breast­stroke heats. King sparked a war-of-words at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics by dub­bing Efimova a “drug cheat” fol­low­ing the Rus­sian’s 16-month dop­ing ban, which ended in 2015.

In Bu­dapest on Tues­day, King won the women’s 100m breast­stroke fi­nal in a world record time, while Efimova took bronze. The Rus­sian ex­tracted an im­pres­sive re­venge on Fri­day by blast­ing to gold over 200m, fin­ish­ing two sec­onds clear of the field.

King faded to fourth af­ter lead­ing early on. Yes­ter­day morn­ing, Amer­ica’s King was the fastest qual­i­fier into the 50m semi-fi­nals, clock­ing 29.76sec with Efimova just 0.23sec be­hind her and the pair both avoid­ing ques­tions.—AFP

KING EDGES EFIMOVA

BU­DAPEST: China’s Sun Yang re­acts af­ter com­pet­ing in the men’s 200m freestyle fi­nal dur­ing the swim­ming com­pe­ti­tion at the 2017 FINA World Cham­pi­onships in Bu­dapest. — AFP

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