Breaststroker Christian Sprenger and teenage freestyler Remy Fairweather will both miss the 2014 Pan Pac Championships for Swimming Australia while battling health issues, the association announced on Tuesday.
The two swimmers are on very different points of their career arcs.
Sprenger, at 28-years old, is likely headed toward his final Olympic Games,and is facing a shoulder injury that flared at the Commonwealth Games early in the 200. He would go on to finish competing at the meet, but didn’t come close to his favored status in the 100 breaststroke at that meet, or even to a medal. He did earn bronze in the 50 breaststroke and silver as part of the 400 medley relay.
“Obviously it’s frustrating to have an injury, but it is also part of being an athlete. I’m disappointed at not being able to race here at home for the Pan Pacs, but if it had to happen, I’m glad it’s still two years out from Rio,” Sprenger said.
The Aussies already called up Jake Packard to the Pan Pacs team, and it will now be down to him and Kenneth To, based on fitness, to prop up the breaststroke leg of the Australian medley relay.
Fairweather, meanwhile, is just 17-years old and is beginning her journey to the top. She’ll miss the meet while dealing with an undisclosed illness.
Fairweather was a prelims swimmer on the women’s 800 free relay at the Commonwealth Games, where she split a 1:58.97 on the team’s top-seeded 3rd leg. The Australian women in finals would go on to win gold, with Fairweather winding up having a faster split than Alicia Coutts who replaced her in the evening.
Individually, Fairweather also took 6th in the 400 free (she was the #2 seed in prelims) as well.
“Remy is young and will no doubt come back firing next year and with a boost of confidence following her Commonwealth Games experience. We want to keep our athletes healthy leading into the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and beyond, and this break is unfortunate but important for both swimmers,” said Swimming Australia head coach Jacco Verhaeren.
They’re the 2nd and 3rd swimmers to pull out of Pan Pacs, after Ellen Gandy previously dropped. The updated roster of 41 swimmers is below. The 2014 Pan Pac Championships run from August 21st-25th on the gold coast.
41 Australians for the Gold Coast
Men (22): Matthew Abood (NSW), Josh Beaver (VIC), Tommaso D’Orsogna (QLD), Thomas Fraser-Holmes (QLD), Jayden Hadler (NSW), Jordan Harrison (QLD), Mack Horton (VIC), Simon Huitenga (WA), Mitch Larkin (QLD), Matson Lawson (VIC), Travis Mahoney (VIC), James Magnussen (NSW), Rhys Mainstone (WA), Cameron McEvoy (QLD), Ned McKendry (QLD), David McKeon (NSW), Jake Packard (QLD), Jarrod Poort (NSW), Kenneth To (NSW), Daniel Tranter (NSW), Ben Treffers (NSW), Chris Wright (QLD)
Women (19): Jessica Ashwood (NSW), Bronte Barratt (QLD), Alanna Bowles (QLD), Cate Campbell (QLD), Bronte Campbell (QLD), Alicia Coutts (QLD), Brittany Elmslie (QLD), Madeline Groves (QLD), Chelsea Gubecka (QLD), Belinda Hocking (VIC), Sally Hunter (SA), Kareena Lee (QLD), Emma McKeon (NSW), Taylor McKeown (QLD), Keryn McMaster (QLD), Melanie Schlanger (QLD), Emily Seebohm (QLD), Lorna Tonks (QLD), Jessica Walker (QLD)