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Siobhan Haughey, Chad le Clos out of world swimming championships

Sioban Haughey

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 29: Siobhan Bernadette Haughey of Team Hong Kong reacts after competing in the Women’s 100m Freestyle Semifinal on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 29, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey, the Olympic 100m and 200m freestyle silver medalist, withdrew before her first race of the world swimming championships in Budapest on Monday, citing an ankle injury.

“I’m sad to share that I will not be racing at the world championships this week,” Haughey posted on social media. “At such a high caliber meet, I want to make sure I’m delivering high level performances. Unfortunately, I’m not there yet. Getting through quarantine and lockdowns at the beginning of the year weren’t easy. Adding an ankle injury to a challenging year was really testing my character. It’s been hard trying to get through all the training and rehab to get to where I want to be in a short amount of time. While my ankle has improved A LOT (thanks to the tremendous help from all of my incredible physios and doctors🤍), I just don’t think I’m ready to race.”

Haughey, a 24-year-old who swam for Michigan, suffered the ankle injury in May before withdrawing from the Mare Nostrum series, which would have been her first competition in an Olympic-sized pool since the Tokyo Games, according to reports.

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In Tokyo, Haughey won Hong Kong’s first Olympic swimming medals as runner-up to Aussies Emma McKeon (100m free) and Ariarne Titmus (200m free) in Asian record times.

McKeon and Titmus both skipped worlds to focus on the Commonwealth Games later this summer. Their absences combined with Haughey’s injury mean that Canadian Penny Oleksiak is the lone Tokyo Olympic medalist in either the women’s 100m or 200m frees competing at worlds.

Another Australian, Mollie O’Callaghan, is the fastest woman this year in both events among those entered in them at worlds.

Also Monday, South African Chad le Clos no-showed for the 200m butterfly preliminary heats before it was announced that he withdrew from the meet entirely due to an unspecified medical condition.

Le Clos, a four-time Olympic medalist, won gold in the 200m fly at the 2012 London Olympics, upsetting Michael Phelps. Le Clos was fifth in the 200m fly in Tokyo.

The 30-year-old placed 33rd in the 50m butterfly heats on Saturday in his lone swim at worlds.

American Bobby Finke‘s chances of following his Olympic 800m free gold with a world title received a boost. While Finke qualified for Tuesday’s final in sixth place across preliminary heats, German Lukas Martens, the world No. 1 this year, was 15th and missed the eight-man final.

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