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Rio Olympics 2016: Cameron McEvoy drops out of 200 m freestyle

McEvoy withdraws from 200m freestyle to focus on relay.

Dropping the 200 m freestyle the right call for Cameron McEvoy?

Cameron McEvoy has sacrificed his own shot at glory at the Rio Olympics to remain fit for the relays. The Australian was scheduled to participate in the 200m individual freestyle but has confirmed his unavailability for the event. His decision to pull out from the event also prevents him from becoming the only Australian in history to win six medals at a single Games. His hopes of equalling the record of five medals now rest with the three relays, the 50m and 100m individual freestyle races.   

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, especially seeing I have been doing the 200m freestyle internationally for so long and it has been one of my favourite and main events for my entire swimming career,” McEvoy said.

“But we have had to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of the entire week and remember that I am only human and that I do have my limitations.” A logjam of races on the second day of the competition in Rio forced the 22-year-old to take the decision. The 200m semi-finals and 4*100m freestyle relay final are scheduled for the same session and the young sensation was expected to be a part of both the events.

“The relay timing with my main events is not the best; there are great benefits for my withdrawal personally but there are great benefits for the relays too,” the youngster added.

“I’ll be fresher for the 4x100m on day two and I’ll be able to step up and absolutely give that my all and on day four I’ll be fresher for the 4x200m as well.”The vacant spot was handed over to David McKeon , who finished 3rd in qualification, behind McEvoy and Thomas Fraser Holmes.

McEvoy’s father Ron had competed in an identical programme at Los Angeles Games in 1984.

“My father Ron actually swam the same three events the 200, the 400 and the 4x200m freestyle relays in ’84 so that is very special indeed,” said McKeon.

“I know how hard it would have been for Cam to give this event up, I know what it means to him and he would not have taken this decision lightly” he concluded.

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