Camille Lacourt Plans to Retire After World Championships

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

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French backstroker Camille Lacourt will compete for the final time this summer at the FINA World Championships in Budapest. Lacourt, the World Champion in the 100 back in 2011 and in the 50 back in both 2013 and 2015, announced the news via a Q&A feature on the official website for the World Championships.

Lacourt explained that he plans to swim only the 50 back in Budapest. He had planned on retiring after Rio but did not “want to retire with a bitter aftertaste” after finishing fifth in the 100 back final in Rio. (He was fourth in the event in London in 2012.) Lacourt also explained in the feature on the World Champs website that he took a few months off of training, moved to Paris so that he could spend more time with his daughter and began preparing for a career post-swimming.

The trip to Budapest will actually be a return to the location of Lacourt’s breakout meet in 2010 at the European Championships. He won his first long course international medals at that meet, winning the 50 back, 100 back and 400 medley relay. His 100 back time of 52.11 made him the second-fastest performer in history behind Aaron Peirsol. A year later, he and countryman Jeremy Stravius tied for the World title in the 100 back.

Lacourt described the emotions he would feel if he does qualify for the 50 back final and get a chance to go for his third-straight World title in the event.

“If I can make it to the finals, I will definitely feel content,” he said. I will definitely enjoy the moment to the full and I will thrive to win. I hate failure so I will be a bit disappointed if I don’t win. I have a lot to do till then though. I do not want to rush my last race, and I will try not to be overwhelmed by stress. It is also sure that when leaving the pool for the last time I will think about those people, coaches, family and friends who were always there for me, supported me and contributed to where I am now. Once more, for the last time.”

Read the full feature on Lacourt’s coming retirement by clicking here.

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