Photo by Joao Marc Bosch
BRISBANE, Australia, August 12. World Champion Breaststroker Christian Sprenger will not compete at the 2014 Hancock Prospecting Pan Pacific Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast due to an injured shoulder.
The Olympic silver medallist and reigning world champion in the men’s 100m breaststroke battled through a tough Commonwealth Games schedule but following advice from medical staff will sit out the upcoming Pan Pacs.
Queensland teenager Remy Fairweather will also be unable to compete due to illness.
Both Fairweather and Sprenger expressed their disappointment at not being able to compete in front of a home crowd.
With the Rio Olympic Games just two years away, Sprenger said his decision was made with a heavy heart but with longevity in mind.
“Obviously it’s frustrating to have an injury, but it is also part of being an athlete. I’m disappointed at not being able to race here at home for the Pan Pacs, but if it had to happen, I’m glad it’s still two years out from Rio,” Sprenger said.
Swimming Australia Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren said Sprenger would be missed on the team after winning an individual bronze and helping the men’s 4x100m medley relay team to silver in Glasgow.
“Christian is a very successful member of the Australian swim team so it is disappointing to not have him on the team for Pan Pacs, but he has been dealing with this shoulder injury for a little while now and I think this break will do him good, and it will be good to keep him in the sport for as long as possible,” said Verhaeren.
Verhaeren said the absence of 17-year-old Fairweather would also be missed following an impressive senior team debut that saw the teenager win gold as a heat swimmer in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay.
“Remy is young and will no doubt come back firing next year and with a boost of confidence following her Commonwealth Games experience. We want to keep our athletes healthy leading into the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and beyond, and this break is unfortunate but important for both swimmers,” said Verhaeren.
The remaining 41 swimmers on the Australian Swim Team will enter team camp on Sunday August 17 to prepare for the pool competition from Thursday August 21 through to Sunday August 24 at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and then the open water competition on August 25 at Southport Marine Stadium.
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