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World Aquatics Championships 2017

Sun does not rise in Budapest: China’s Sun Yang a surprise no-show in 1500m heats at world championships

Chinese official says decision taken to ‘protect his health’ although he was still able to train ahead of Sunday’s men’s 4x100m medley relay

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 6:58pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 6:58pm

Sun Yang was a surprise absentee in the men’s 1500-metre freestyle heats on Saturday as the world record holder again opted out at the World Aquatic Championships.

A Chinese official said the decision was taken to ‘protect his health’ as Sun has complained of tiredness.

Despite his no-show, the 25-year-old trained on Saturday and is due to race in the men’s 4x100m medley relay on Sunday.

Sun has a history of dropping out of the 1500m at the 11th hour at world championships.

He was a no-show for the men’s final in 2015 after citing heart problems during the warm-up.

After winning freestyle golds over 200m and 400m in Budapest, Sun had complained of fatigue before flopping in the men’s 800m freestyle final on Wednesday.

He finished fifth, 8.10 seconds adrift of winner Gabriele Detti of Italy.

Sun Yang all class despite thrashing bitter rival Mack Horton at world championships

In Sun’s absence, Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk was the fastest qualifier for Sunday’s 1500m final in 14 minutes and 44.11 seconds.

Defending champion Gregorio Paltrinieri was 0.20 behind, with Australia’s Mack Horton the seventh fastest.

“It was a slow heat, I felt pretty good early on,” said Horton, who won silver behind Sun in last Sunday’s 400m final.

“I’ve just been doing 1500 heats in the last couple of days to blow away the cobwebs after sitting around for the last couple of days.”