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Friday, September 24, 2021

World champion swimmer dies in Gainesville after training

<p>FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 file photo, Kenneth To from Australia swims a Men's 100 meter Individual Medley heat at the FINA Short Course Swimming World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Kenneth To, a former swimming world championships medalist for Australia, died Tuesday March 19, 2019, after falling ill training with the University of Florida. He was aged 26. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)</p>

FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 file photo, Kenneth To from Australia swims a Men's 100 meter Individual Medley heat at the FINA Short Course Swimming World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Kenneth To, a former swimming world championships medalist for Australia, died Tuesday March 19, 2019, after falling ill training with the University of Florida. He was aged 26. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

Kenneth To, a 26-year-old swimmer from Hong Kong, died Monday in Gainesville while training with the Gator Swim Club, according to the Associated Press.

He became ill during training and was taken to the hospital, where he died soon afterward. The cause of death is not yet known.

To, who was born in Hong Kong, was training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

He moved to Australia when he was young and had previously won six medals, including one gold medal, for Australia at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore. To had also won a silver medal for a 400-meter medley relay for Australia in the 2013 world championship in Barcelona, according to AP.

To was not a student and was not in a UF-affiliated training program, said Margot Winick, a UF spokesperson. The Gator Swim Club rents swimming facilities at UF.

The Gator Swim Club could not be reached in time for comment.

The Hong Kong Sports Institute wrote it was shocked and saddened to hear of To’s death in a statement released Tuesday.

“Kenneth was known as a truly exceptional person, warm, funny and kind. His sudden passing is a huge loss to local sports,” the institute said.

Kelly Hayes contributed to this report.

FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 file photo, Kenneth To from Australia swims a Men's 100 meter Individual Medley heat at the FINA Short Course Swimming World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Kenneth To, a former swimming world championships medalist for Australia, died Tuesday March 19, 2019, after falling ill training with the University of Florida. He was aged 26. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

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