Swimming: Agnel to retire after Rio blow

Sun Aug 7, 2016 6:34pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Rio will be the last Olympics for 2012 double gold medalist Yannick Agnel after the French swimmer failed to defend his 200 meters freestyle title on Sunday and announced his imminent retirement.

"This is my last international competition," the 24-year-old told French media after finishing 19th overall in Sunday's preliminary heats with only the top 16 going through to the semi-finals.

"If I continue four years like the past four years, you will find me between four planks."

Agnel won gold in both the individual 200 and 4x100 relay in London four years ago as well as a silver in the 4x200. He has still to compete in the latter relay in Rio but has no more individual events.

His place at the Olympics had been in doubt earlier in the year when he came third behind Jeremy Stravius and Jordan Pothain in the French trials after failing to touch the finishing pad correctly.

Only the first two qualified but Pothain provided an opening by deciding to enter the 400 freestyle instead.

"I am disappointed, very disappointed," he said of his performance on Sunday. "But I gave everything, I really did my maximum today. I did everything I could.

"It was already a victory in itself to be here, to show everybody that despite everything I could change my luck and be competitive.   Continued...

Rio Olympics - Swimming training - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 04/08/2016. Yannick Agnel (FRA) of France during training. REUTERS/David Gray