31 July 11:05 (BST)

British swimming medal contenders surprised by absence of Olympic champion rival

GLASGOW - Aimee WILLMOTT and Hannah MILEY, two of Britain’s leading swimmers, both voiced their surprise at the absence from their favoured event of Hungary's Olympic and world champion Katinka HOSSZU.

World record holder Hosszu, known as ‘The Iron Lady’, is the reigning Olympic and world champion in the 400m medley but she has not entered the event after disruption to her training. She will compete instead in the 100m and 200m backstroke, and the 200m medley.

HOSSZU, 29, who has three Olympic and seven world titles and a host of world records to her name, recently separated from her husband and coach, American Shane TUSUP.

“I was a bit surprised about her not entering, but I’m very aware that she has had a bit of a rough start to the year,” MILEY said. “She had a break from training and I think she feels she’s not quite there yet.”

MILEY finished 0.26 seconds behind WILLMOTT in the 400m medley at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in April. Neither swimmer made any predictions but both will be expected to challenge for gold in Glasgow, where only the Italian Ilaria CUSINATO is ranked marginally better than the British rivals.

WILLMOTT also said she was surprised by HOSSZU’s absence but added: “It won’t change how I approach the event, whether she is in it or not.”

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