SwimmingErin Gemmell Left Off 2022 Worlds Team By Mistake

Erin Gemmell Left Off 2022 Worlds Team By Mistake

Erin Gemmell Left Off 2022 Worlds Team By Mistake; USA Swimming Apologizes for ‘Selection Error’

For the second consecutive year, Katie Ledecky opted out of swimming the 200 freestyle at the World Championships despite qualifying for the individual event. Ledecky chose to prioritize her remaining individual events, the 400, 800 and 1500 free, plus the U.S. women’s 800 free relay. Bella Sims inherited Ledecky’s individual spot in the 200 free because she finished third in the event at Nationals after Leah Smith was the beneficiary last year.

In 2023, USA Swimming added an additional relay swimmer to the roster in light of Ledecky’s decision. Shortly after the final night of competition at U.S. Nationals, Anna Peplowski was added to the Worlds team after finishing seventh in the 200 free, but no additional relay swimmer received a spot in 2022, when Erin Gemmell placed seventh in the event at the International Team Trials.

USA Swimming has admitted that this year’s call was the correct decision and last year’s was a mistake. In a statement released by USA Swimming Friday when finalizing the Worlds roster, including the addition of Chris Plumb to the coaching staff, USA Swimming apologized to Gemmell for the error.

“In 2022, USA Swimming made a selection error which resulted in Erin Gemmell, the 7th fastest finisher in the 200 freestyle, not being named to the Worlds team. Instead, Gemmell was named to the Junior Pan Pacific Championships where she earned high point honors while leading the U.S. team to the top of the medal table. This year, a similar athlete withdrawal situation occurred in the 200 freestyle, and we followed the selection procedures correctly in allowing for the promotion of Anna Peplowski to the Worlds team.

“We realize the error in 2022 caused major disappointment for Gemmell, her coaches, and her family. USA Swimming extends our most sincere apologies to Erin, and we celebrate her qualification to this year’s World Aquatics Championships team.”

Gemmell made huge improvements later in 2022 after missing Worlds, becoming a 1:56-low 200 freestyler before winning six gold medals, three individual and three relay, at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships. This year, Gemmell placed fourth in the 200 free at U.S. Nationals, and after her 1:54.86 split at Junior Pan Pacs, she will be relied upon to post a big relay performance if the American women hope to defend their 800 free relay world title.

Read the full announcement from USA Swimming here.

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