RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Defending champion Sun Yang failed to qualify for the 1,500m freestyle final after a 7th finish in his heat at Rio Olympic Games on Friday.
The 1,500m free world record holder ranked 16th overall after clocking 15 minutes 1.97 seconds.
The 24-year-old, winning the 200m free on Monday, caught a cold after winning the title but refused to skip the 1,500m heat.
"I didn't feel well after the 200m final," said Sun. "I caught a fever two days ago and I took six pills of antibiotics in a day. I didn't expect I would be this sick after the 200m."
"I felt so tired after 800m today but I think I will learn something from the race and I don't care about the time. Even if I timed 16 minutes or 17 minutes, it will be an encouragement for me as I have not competed in the event for a long time," he said.
Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri, winner of the event at the 2015 Kazan worlds, led the heats in 14:44.51.