Caeleb Dressel withdraws from remainder of World Swimming Championships
Former Gator swimmer won five gold medals in last summer’s Olympics
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) -Caeleb Dressel’s world swimming championships are over with just two gold medals from Budapest.
USA Swimming withdrew its star male swimmer from the rest of the competition for unspecified medical reasons on Wednesday.
“He’s just not fit to compete right now. And so we just needed to make that decision. It needed to be a quick decision,” American team manager Lindsay Mintenko told journalists.
Mintenko said she could not be more specific about the reasons for Dressel’s withdrawal, but that he may decide to speak about it himself. She declined to say whether it was a mental or physical problem. Dressel had appeared in good shape.
He had pulled out of Tuesday’s semifinals in the 100 freestyle and it wasn’t clear at the time if he’d be able to continue. He was also due to race the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly later in the worlds.
“He obviously has a lot of events left. And so it was a quick decision that we made in conjunction with him and our medical staff and the coaches,” Mintenko said. “It’s the right decision and especially for Caeleb’s long-term health. And that’s ultimately what we’re here for, for the health of our athletes.”
For the 25-year-old Dressel – a seven-time Olympic gold medalist – it’s a big blow.
“Caeleb has worked really hard for this,” Mintenko said. “Any time you come to a world championships or any big competition, international competition, and if you can’t compete, it’s very difficult. And so we’re just going to take it one day at a time. We have a wonderful team here with us. We’re doing exceptionally well and really looking forward to the next few days.”
Dressel’s teammates responded Tuesday by adding three more gold medals to take the team’s tally to 10. He had claimed gold in the 50 butterfly on Sunday, a day after helping the United States win the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay.
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