Seward High School senior Lydia Jacoby had to withdraw from the 2021 FINA Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, due to a COVID-19 close contact, according to an Instagram post by the swimmer Monday.
“I’m absolutely gutted to have my time at the World Championships come to a close so soon, my participation in the event ending abruptly due to my close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual,” Jacoby wrote. “After finding out, I worked closely with USA Swimming and Fina to make sure that I followed all government and competition protocols in order to keep everyone safe.
“After testing negative multiple times, I was cleared to travel home without putting anyone at risk.”
Jacoby, 17, started at the meet Wednesday night Alaska Standard Time, when she qualified out of the heats in the 50-meter breaststroke. In Thursday morning’s semifinals, she would not make the finals.
Friday morning, she helped the United States to a silver medal in the 4-by-50 medley relay, swimming the fifth-fastest breaststroke leg in the final, according to swimswam.com. Jacoby’s teammates were 21-year-old Rhyan White, 17-year-old Claire Curzan and 25-year-old Abby Weitzeil.
“Although I unfortunately did not get the chance to finish the meet, I’m proud to have once again represented Team USA, and even earned a spot on the podium with an amazing group of women,” Jacoby wrote. “It certainly was not the week I’d planned, but now it’s time to reset, refocus, and start off 2022 strong.”
Jacoby won the gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Olympics this summer in Tokyo. The Olympics are held in 50-meter pools, while the event in Abu Dhabi is in a 25-meter pool.
Jacoby never got a chance to compete in the 100 breaststroke in Abu Dhabi. That event began Saturday night and Jacoby was already withdrawn from the meet by then.