New Horrors Strike Swimming World as Another Pro Withdraws Name From Fukuoka World Championships

Published 07/12/2023, 6:00 AM EDT

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As the World Aquatics Championships draw closer, fans’ excitement is mounting. Fans are all girded up to cheer their favorite athletes toward victory. But recently, swimming fans have been hit with a series of disappointments as several top pro athletes have withdrawn their names from the Fukuoka World Championships. First, South African swimmer Chad de Clos withdrew his participation from the championships, citing health concerns as the sole reason. And now, two more athletes have joined the growing list of withdrawals, leaving fans concerned about the level of competition at the upcoming event.

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Sydney Pickrem and Mabel Zavaros have both given up their spots on the Canadian team for the Fukuoka Championships. Both athletes are veterans of the sport and were expected to be strong contenders in their respective events. However, their withdrawals have left a void in the Canadian team and raised questions about the reasons behind these decisions.

Pickrem and Zavaros Have Just Reasons For Pulling Out

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Zavaros is one of Canada’s top swimmers in the 800m freestyle. She joined the national team in 2018 and became the double finalist in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. However, days ahead of Fukuoka championships, Zavaros walked out because of a shoulder injury. She stated, “I’ve been communicating a lot with my doctors, athletic trainers and coaches about my shoulder injuries…I need to take some time this summer to continue doing rehab and rest to help both my shoulders”. This would have been the 23-year-old’s debut in the World Championships.

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Pickrem, on the other hand, has been part of Team Canada for over a decade. She has been competing in every World Championships since 2015 and has won four medals. She also has an Olympic Bronze medal to her name from the 2020 Summer Olympics. Pickrem announced that she wouldn’t compete in the 2023 World Championships due to “personal circumstances”.

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In an interview with Swimming World Magazine, John Atkinson, the High-Performance Director and National Coach, said, “We support them 100 per cent”. Team Canada will suffer another blow if Taylor Ruck also pulls out because of a recent injury sustained during skateboarding.

Canada’s Chances Diminish as Pickrem and Zavaros Withdraw from World Championships

Pickrem was Canada’s strongest hope for earning a medal in the 200 IM. Nevertheless, Canada wishes to support these athletes during their difficulties. Both Pickrem and Zavaros will next be seen in October at the 2023 Pan Pacific Championships.

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Canada had initially released a roster of 31 strong athletes, but soon after, Penny Oleksiak withdrew her name, Canada’s roster for the World Championships has been reduced to 28 athletes. This is a major blow to Canada’s chances of success in the World Championships.

Despite Struggling Throughout the Event, 23-Year-Old US Swimmer Makes Perfect Comeback to Walk Into World Championships

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This year the World Championships will miss many legends in the sport. Kristof Milak, the World title holder in the 100 and 200 butterfly, and Adam Peaty, Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder in the 100m BR will not be participating in the worlds. Katinka Hosszu, the World Champion and Olympic gold medalist, will also not make an appearance. She is pregnant with her first child. Other absentees include Australia’s Cate Campbell, Jenna Strauch, Chelsea Hodges and South Africa’s Pieter Coetze and Chad de Clos.

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Written by:

Anchal Ahuja

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Anchal Ahuja is a sports author for Essentially Sports. She is a skilled writer who has a vast knowledge of different sports and is now delved into the US Sports Arena. Anchal has chased her dream and followed her passion to become a pro writer.
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Edited by:

Purva Jain

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