Swimming world championships end under a cloud as Sun fails to start

Sun Aug 9, 2015 2:30pm EDT
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By Rod Gilmour

KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Mystery surrounded the conclusion of the world championships on Sunday when China's twice champion and favorite Sun Yang failed to start the men's 1,500m freestyle final won by Gregorio Paltrinieri.

As the Italian celebrated his first world title the sport's governing body FINA said a chest complaint had caused the Sun to pull out minutes before the distance race, denying him the chance to claim his third title of the week.

"I feel very sorry that I couldn’t be present for the 1500m," Sun told reporters.

"I didn’t feel good in my heart. Today I felt really uncomfortable at the pool during my warm-up and I had to give up the idea of competing. I feel really sorry about that.

"It happened after the warm-up as I was preparing for the competition. It is the first time I have felt uncomfortable in competition."

Sun was asked about reports that he had an altercation with a Brazilian swimmer during training in the adjacent pool.

"I have no comment because it was a morning problem," he said.

In the absence of Sun, who won the 400m and 800m freestyle titles not on the blocks, Paltrinieri set a European record 14 minute 39.67 seconds to claim gold.   Continued...

Sun Yang of China gestures after the men's 1500m freestyle heats at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia, August 8, 2015.  REUTERS/Michael Dalder