Reigning champion Caeleb Dressel yesterday swam a sizzling 100m freestyle heat as fallout from a bust-up between China’s Sun Yang and Briton Duncan Scott continued to swirl at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
The American, who racked up seven world titles two years ago in Budapest, clocked the year’s fastest time of 47.32 seconds to top the morning time sheets with Australian Kyle Chalmers, the gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, only 13th-quickest going into semi-finals.
Dressel has two golds already this week and targets eight, but it was the allegations dogging Sun that continued to overshadow events in the water.
“Felt good, that’s kind of how I wanted to swim it,” said Dressel, who two years ago matched Michael Phelps’ record of seven World titles at a single championships.
Scott, who on Tuesday refused to shake hands with Sun on the podium or pose for photographs after taking bronze in the 200m final, received a formal warning from FINA for his actions — along with Sun for his angry response.
After finishing fifth in the 200m individual medley heats, Scott claimed he had no knowledge of the official rebuke, saying: “I’ve got no clue. I don’t know as much as you guys right now — I’ve made my statement, sorry.”
While Scott kept his counsel, British teammate Alys Thomas said: “To me he seems his normal self. As a team we all support him.”
Several swimmers have backed Scott’s stand, including Olympic champions Adam Peaty and Lilly King.
South African Chad le Clos, runner-up to Sun in the 200m final in Rio, said: “I want my gold medal back from Rio. It shouldn’t be allowed to have people cheating in sports.”
Hungary’s former Olympic silver medalist Laszlo Cseh set the pace in the men’s 200m individual medley with 1 minute, 57.79 seconds, with Japan’s Daiya Seto and defending champion Chase Kalisz in hot pursuit.
American Hali Flickinger led the way in the heats of the women’s 200m butterfly in 2 minutes, 5.96 seconds from Hungary’s European champ Boglarka Kapas.
China’s Fu Yuanhui, who won hearts in Rio for her straight-talking and bubbly nature, topped the times in the women’s 50m backstroke in 27.7 seconds, 0.15 ahead of Brazilian Etiene Medeiros.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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