Dmitriy Balandin Contemplating Retirement After Asian Games

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Dmitriy Balandin is thinking about retiring from the swimming, and an announcement could be on the horizon after the Asian Games, according to The Associated Press.

The Kazakhstan’s Olympic gold medalist is 23 and has dealt with several injuries since the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where he won the 200-meter breaststroke.

“I don’t know what my life is going to be after the Asian Games,” he told The Associated Press. “Maybe I finish swimming after Asian Games, but I don’t know now. Really, I am a little bit tired for swimming. I’ve won all I wanted in my swimming career. I have some trouble with my health. It’s really good to be back at the Asian Games again. I try to repeat my result from Incheon but I (couldn’t) swim the 200. I’ll try to win the 100 and the 50. I don’t know how I’ll swim here because my opponents from Japan and China are really great swimmers.”

In the last Asian Games, in 2014, Balandin won all three breaststroke championships.

Then there was Rio. Here is a recap of the stunning gold medal:

The men’s 200 breaststroke final went off in true Olympic upset fashion. Swimming in lane eight, Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Balandin surged ahead in the final 25-meters of the race to upset the pool and take home gold with a time of 2:07.46. Balandin’s win marks the first-ever swimming medal for Kazakhstan.

Making Balandin’s victory even sweeter was that it came just minutes after countryman Nijat Rahimov won Kazakhstan’s first gold medal in any sport at the Rio Olympics when he posted a world record to win weightlifting’s 77-kilogram class.

Also surging ahead in the final length of the race was the USA’s Josh Prenot who accelerated his stroke rate to that of one swimming the 50 or 100 breaststroke. Prenot got his hand to the wall just behind Dmitriy for silver and a time of 2:07.53.

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Author: Daniel D'Addona

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Dan D'Addona is the lead college swim writer for Swimming World. He has covered swimming at all levels since 2003, including the NCAA championships, USA nationals, Duel in the Pool and Olympic trials. He is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a graduate of Central Michigan University. He currently lives in Holland, Michigan, where he also is the Sports Editor at The Holland Sentinel.

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