Ella Eastin
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Ella Eastin added to U.S. roster for swimming worlds

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Ella Eastin was added to the U.S. roster for the world swimming championships in three weeks as Kathleen Baker dropped the 200m individual medley from her schedule.

Eastin, 22 and on her first world team, was slowed by mono last summer before the team for this year’s worlds was determined at 2018 Nationals and the Pan Pacific Championships.

Though Eastin was the fastest U.S. woman in the 200m IM at Pan Pacs (2:09.90), Baker and Melanie Margalis were faster at nationals two weeks earlier and made the world team in the event.

Baker is more known for her backstroke. The 100m back semifinals and the 200m IM final are in the same July 22 session at worlds in Gwangju, South Korea. Baker is the 100m back world-record holder. She ranked second in the world last year in the 200m IM behind Japanese Yui Ohashi.

Eastin appeared to make the 2017 World team, touching second in the 400m IM at nationals, but was later disqualified for an illegal turn. She ranked eighth in the world last year in the 200m IM and is 19th this year, 3.4 seconds behind Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary.

Eastin’s biggest win to date came at the 2018 NCAA Championships, when she beat Katie Ledecky in the 400-yard individual medley and took the American and NCAA records in the event from her Stanford teammate.

(h/t SwimSwam.com)

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Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

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Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

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Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

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Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

MORE: Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis competition

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