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Katie Ledecky drops 200m freestyle from swimming worlds slate

Katie Ledecky

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 27: Katie Ledecky looks on following her victory in the Women’s 200m Freestyle Finals on Day Two of the Phillips 66 International Team Trials at the Greensboro Aquatic Center on April 27, 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Katie Ledecky dropped the 200m freestyle from her world swimming championships schedule, according to an updated USA Swimming event-by-event roster.

Ledecky, who has not commented publicly on the change, won the 200m free at last week’s U.S. swimming trials, along with the 400m, 800m and 1500m frees.

She entered those four individual events at every Olympics, world championships and Pan Pacific Championships dating to 2014 (though she scratched the 200m at 2019 Worlds due to illness).

As in past major meets, the 200m free and 1500m free overlap at worlds in Budapest in June. The 200m free semifinals and 1500m free final are in the same session.

Ledecky’s last major international title in the 200m free was at the 2016 Olympics.

She then took silver at the 2017 Worlds, bronze at the 2018 Pan Pacs and placed fifth at the Tokyo Olympics while taking eight golds and one silver among the 400m, 800m and 1500m frees at those meets.

Ariarne Titmus, the Olympic 200m and 400m free champion, is among the Australian stars who plan to skip June’s worlds to focus on the Commonwealth Games later this summer. Ledecky and Titmus are tied for the world’s fastest 200m free time this year.

The U.S. entrants in the 200m free are now trials runner-up Claire Weinstein, who is 15, and Leah Smith, who was third in the 200m free and runner-up to Ledecky in the 400m and 800m frees. Ledecky is still expected to headline the 4x200m free relay.

Ledecky is four individual world titles shy of Michael Phelps’ record 15. By dropping the 200m free, she cannot match that total this year. There are two more world championships before the next Olympics -- in July 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan, and January 2024 in Doha.

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