Katie Ledecky reacts on Monday after her 1500m heat at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. Picture: Lee Jin-man/AP
Katie Ledecky reacts on Monday after her 1500m heat at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. Picture: Lee Jin-man/AP

Ill Ledecky to miss clash with Titmus in 200m freestyle

AMERICAN great Katie Ledecky and Australia's Emma McKeon have both pulled out of the 200m freestyle at the world swimming titles in South Korea.

Ledecky has succumbed to illness, with the United States team yet to confirm whether the five-time Olympic champion will contest Tuesday night's 1500m freestyle final.

Ledecky, 22, is vying for a record fourth straight 1500m world title.

US officials will also monitor Ledecky's fitness before her other events - the 800m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay.

McKeon has been forced to pull out due to illness, sabotaging her tilt at a record medal haul.

Dolphins officials said McKeon was rested for Tuesday morning's 200m heats as a precaution but would still set to contest her remaining events - the 100m freestyle and four relays.

A team official said Ledecky, a 14-time world champion, had not been feeling well since arriving in Gwangju for the eight-day titles, which started on Sunday.

"A decision has been made by Team USA in consultation with Katie, her coach and the team's medical staff for her to withdraw from the 200m freestyle event on medical grounds," US team managing director Lindsay Mintenko said.

"The team will determine her participation in this evening's 1500m final later in the day.

"Katie has not been feeling well since arriving to Gwangju on July 17 and these precautionary measures are being taken to ensure her wellbeing and proper recovery and to allow her to focus her energy on a abbreviated schedule."

Ledecky had qualified fastest for the 1500m final after suffering a shock loss to Australia's Ariarne Titmus in the 400m freestyle on Sunday night.

Ledecky had previously not lost over 400m, 800m or 1500m freestyle at an international meet since 2012.

She is the world record holder in all three events.

McKeon had been on track to become the first to claim eight medals at a single world titles after collecting 4x100m freestyle relay gold and 100m butterfly bronze.

However, those plans have been shelved.

Ariarne Titmus touches the wall a body length ahead of Katie Ledecky. Picture: AP
Ariarne Titmus touches the wall a body length ahead of Katie Ledecky. Picture: AP

The withdrawal of Ledecky and McKeon has boosted the 200m winning chances of Australia's Ariarne Titmus, who is still buzzing from upsetting Ledecky and claiming 400m freestyle gold on Sunday.

Australians in action in Tuesday night's finals are Clyde Lewis (200m freestyle), Minna Atherton, Kaylee McKeown (women's 100m backstroke), former world champion Mitch Larkin (men's 100m backstroke), Kiah Melverton and Maddy Gough (1500m freestyle).

News Corp Australia

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