Tom Dean Misses 200 Free at Short Course Worlds After Close Contact; Could Return Later

fina-DEAN Tom GBR Men's 400m Freestyle Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 16/12/21 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Tom Dean at the Short Course World Championships -- Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Tom Dean Misses 200 Free at Short Course Worlds After Close Contact; Could Return Later

Great Britain’s Tom Dean, the Olympic gold medalist in the men’s 200 freestyle, competed on day one of the Short Course World Championships, placing 15th in the men’s 400 free prelims and then competing on his country’s 400 free relay in both prelims and finals, but he did not show up for his 200 free heat on day two because he came in close contact with an individual who later tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier reports (a tweet from British journalist Mark Woods) had stated that Dean was out of the meet. However, British Swimming has confirmed to Swimming World that Dean is currently self-isolating and awaiting the results of a PCR test which will determine his next steps.

Dean captured gold in the 200 free in Tokyo, his first-ever international final in an individual event, as he and countryman Duncan Scott came from behind on the last 50. Dean touched out Scott for gold by four hundredths, and a day later, the duo led Britain to a dominant gold medal in the men’s 800 freestyle relay.

Dean has actually tested positive for COVID twice himself, and the second diagosis last winter proved difficult for the 21-year-old Brit to overcome.

“Sitting in my flat in isolation, an Olympic gold was a million miles away,” Dean said of his second COVID bout. “The second time was much worse than the first. I was quite ill for about 10 days and I served the whole isolation period and it’s a slow build back up because of the nature of the sport we do and of the disease. You can’t just go straight back into full-on training so it required a few weeks … two or three months out of our Olympic Trials and I’m stuck inside unable to even exercise.”