Yannick Agnel Confirms Retirement in Facebook Post

Yannick Agnel world championship
Photo Courtesy: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

After missing out on the semifinals of the 200 free at the Rio Olympic Games, Yannick Agnel told reporters that he was on the verge of retirement. He has now confirmed that news in a Facebook post.

Agnel was the Olympic gold medalist in the 200 free in 2012, a race which came the day after he overtook Ryan Lochte on the anchor leg of the men’s 400 free relay to win the gold medal for France. Agnel backed up his successful 2012 with a World title in the 200 free a year later, but his career faltered after that.

He finished 19th in the 200 free in Rio, posting a 1:47.35, more than four seconds slower than he had swum in London.

“I knew it was going to be tough to get in tonight,” Agnel said at the time. “In French, we say ‘having the weapons to compete.’ I knew I didn’t have all of the weapons for this morning, so I tried to go as fast as I could. I knew I would get in with 1:46-something, so I was aiming for that. I have no regrets because I gave it my all this morning, but I am disappointed and sad that I couldn’t defend my title.”

Agnel said after his 200 free prelim swim that he intended for the 800 free relay to be the last race of his career, but he did not compete in prelims, and France missed out on the finals.

The 24-year-old wrote his Facebook post Saturday “with the stomach in knots but the spirit serene.” He also confirmed that the decision was pretty much made by the time the Olympics rolled around.

“It has been an immense pride and an honor to represent my country through these competitions. All these victories, all these podiums, it is thanks to you too. These seven years as a part of team France (already!) will have rarely been synonymous with great calm… sometimes been shrouded in success, sometimes capped failures.” (Translated)

Read Agnel’s full Facebook post (in French) here.

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