Van Almsick's sinking feeling

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Franziska van Almsick, of Germany, who was disqualified from the 100m freestyle final, withdrew from her showcase event, the 200m freestyle, at the world short course championships in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.

"Her performance has not been good, so she did not swim. She also has been sick recently with a cough," Achim Jedamsky, the German women's coach, said, adding that she was also doubtful for the women's 4x100m freestyle relay today.

In the 100m final on Thursday, van Almsick was disqualified after a false start which the judge interpreted as deliberate.

The world record-holder Jing Yi Le, a member of the Chinese team van Almsick has accused of drug use, went on to win in 53.23sec - 0.22sec off her mark set in the last world championships in Spain.

Karen Pickering failed to make the final of the 200m freestyle. The defending champion finished as the ninth fastest qualifier and missed out on a place by 0.19sec.

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