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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Dafne Schippers out of world championships 200m

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the freshly crowned world 100m champion, and Dafne Schippers, the two-time reigning world 200m champion, both withdrew before the 200m that began with heats at the world championships in Doha on Monday.

Neither absence was a surprise.

The Jamaican Fraser-Pryce withdrew after storming to her fourth world 100m title on Sunday night. A turnaround to start the 200m the following day is a tough ask. Men’s 100m champ Christian Coleman similarly withdrew before the men’s 200m heats on Sunday.

The Dutchwoman Schippers reached Sunday’s 100m final but did not contest it, suffering an adductor problem in the earlier semifinals, according to the IAAF.

While Fraser-Pryce and Schippers combined to win the last three world titles at 200m, they rank Nos. 7 and 13 in the world this year in the event. The 200m also lacks 2017 World silver medalist Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Cote d’Ivoire and the fastest woman in the world this year, Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who is only doing the 400m at worlds because of the schedule.

The favorites in the 200m (the final is Wednesday) are Brit Dina Asher-Smith and Jamaican Olympic champion Elaine Thompson. The top-ranked American this year is Anglerne Annelus, who is seeded fourth.

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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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