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National swimming meet set for Knoxville canceled because of COVID-19 concerns

USA Swimming cited rising COVID-19 cases as the reason to cancel the Jan. 12-15 meet on the UT campus.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Citing "current COVID-19 conditions across the country," USA Swimming has canceled a national swim meet set to take place this month on the University of Tennessee campus.

The first TYR Pro Swim event of the year had been set for Jan. 12-15 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center at UTK.

Now the start of the national level competitive season will move to March in Des Moines, Iowa, according to the national swimming group's announcement.

USA Swimming, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., said it was acting in "an abundance of caution." The highly infectious omicron variant of the virus is accelerating across the country, although so far it does not appear to be driving up hospitalizations.

"With the new Olympic quadrennial only just beginning, and the current COVID-19 conditions across the country, USA Swimming, with the support of event host Tennessee Aquatics and Visit Knoxville, made the decision to prioritize the health and safety of the athletes, staff and event volunteers," USA Swimming said Monday.

Last year, three of the Pro Swim Series meets were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reported.

The nationally televised series attracts many of the world's best swimmers in competitions held over several days. It features Olympians and Olympic hopefuls.

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