GLASGOW, Scotland, July 25. ONE of the top gold medal favorites in swimming at the Commonwealth Games has publicly claimed he’s not likely to return home with any individual gold medals, as a shoulder injury is hampering his form in the breaststroke.
Christian Sprenger, the reigning world champion in the 100 breaststroke, told his hometown paper The Brisbane Times that he’s been dealing with a shoulder injury for a few months. Though the diagnosis isn’t official, his therapists believe a torn muscle might be to blame.
Sprenger was one of the gold medal contenders for the men’s 200 breaststroke last night but finished well back in eighth with a 2:12.69 after leading at 100 meters. Today in the heats of the 100 breast, he qualified 11th for tonight’s semifinals with a 1:02.30, well off his world-leading time of 58.87 from April.
“The breaststroke, it’s just gone … it’s just a mess at the moment,” he said.
“The stroke it’s just so foreign. I’m diving in and pulling out and there’s just no drive, there’s no power and there’s no efficiency. It’s just a challenge. I’m getting to the 50-metre mark and am already in pain and I don’t understand. I really don’t.”
If his shoulder holds up through the meet, Sprenger could still have a gold medal opportunity in the medley relay, though a slower pace from him could jeopardize the Aussie’s place as the favorites, with South Africa, Scotland and England lurking.