Photo by David Farr
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BRISBANE, Australia, August 13. OUS Mellouli, Tunisia’s Olympic gold medalist, could be on the outside looking in at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships due to visa issues according to the Courier Mail.
Mellouli, the Olympic gold medalist in the 10K event at the 2012 London Olympics who also earned bronze in the 1500 free that year, is a medal favorite heading into Pan Pacs, especially in the open water events. He won the 5K at last year’s Worlds, and while he has been focusing on the pool since his RCP Tiburon Mile race last fall, still could challenge for a medal in open water.
This year, Mellouli has been training with the NBAC elites in Baltimore with an eye on Pan Pacs.
“The best are looking to compete against the best,” legendary coach Denis Cotterell told the Courier Mail. “He’d add quality to the field. I don’t know what he’s been doing this year but he’s invariably competitive when he shows up. It’s great for the sport and spectators. You get Olympic gold medallists in that event still wanting to compete is great and healthy for the sport.”
Mellouli was planning on heading straight to the Middle East FINA World Cup stops after competing at Pan Pacs. But, he might just be in a waiting pattern until turning in his top swims in Doha and Dubai.