Defending U.S. Olympic Trials Champion Josh Prenot Misses 200 Breast Semifinal


Defending U.S. Olympic Trials champion Josh Prenot finished 17th in the men’s 200 breaststroke prelims race Wednesday morning. While he has the first alternate spot, unless someone ahead of him scratches he is out of the semifinal.

18-year-old Matt Fallon won the prelims race with a time of 2:10.13 and it took a 2:13.14 to make the semifinals.

Prenot split the race 1:04.89 / 1:08.53 for a final time of 2:13.42. his lifetime best time is 2:07.17 from the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials where he won the race and simultaneously broke the American Record that still stands today. He went on to win silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Prenot posted a thread to Twitter after the race. “I’m sorry to the people who have been rooting for me and believing in me. It’s not for a lack of effort, but I’m clearly not anywhere near my best and haven’t been for a while…”

He walked through his struggle to get back to peak performance level these past few years.

“Not taking my name off the anti-doping list just yet, but definitely not racing for the next year at least … Still a swim fan though,” he ended the Twitter thread. “Go bears, go Team USA.”

All-Time Top Ten U.S. 200 Breast Performers

  1. Josh Prenot – 2:07.17 (2016)
  2. Kevin Cordes – 2:07.41 (2017)
  3. Eric Shanteau – 2:07.42 (2009)
  4. Will Licon – 2:07.62 (2019)
  5. Andrew Wilson – 2:07.77 (2019)
  6. Nic Fink – 2:08.16 (2019)
  7. Brendan Hansen – 2:08.50 (2006)
  8. Daniel Roy – 2:08.89 (2020)
  9. Cody Miller – 2:08.98 (2019)
  10. Scott Weltz – 2:08.99 (2012)


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2 years ago

Breastroke can be the most brutal of strokes. Maybe it’s just me but it seems more rare to be able to keep it. Our Olympic team alone has only 1 repeat so far (and probably will) and that’s the WR holder in the 100 womens. Japan is the same way and has been since Kitajima. Peaty is surrounded by newcomers and so is the Australian team. It seems to me that this stroke in particular is just worse on longevity than any other.

ACC fan
2 years ago

Josh, you are and always will be a Champion. Take a break, rest. This will pass and make your life richer in ways you can’t see yet. You are an amazing person with so many talents other than swimming. Embrace those. God bless you.

2 years ago

Man that’s tough to read 🙁

2 years ago

That’s exactly why I quit. Breaststrokers (and all swimmers) face the same struggles I guess. I hope his hunger and enjoyment for swimming returns like mine has.

Reply to  Cracked
2 years ago

I feel like it’s a very fortunate/lucky situation when swimmers get to retire happy and satisfied. Too many people lose the love for the sport no matter what level they swim at and it’s too demanding to continue when your heart isn’t in it anymore.

Mr. Daegon
2 years ago


I write to let you know you are not alone. This past year has induced quite the same feeling in many of us swimmers. Unfortunately, in the heat of competition and performance times always varying, it becomes so easy to forget why we fell in love with the sport in the first place. With so many variables that could impact us in a sport that forces us to be perfectionists, it can drive even the most mentally sound athlete insane. I am currently at the trials and still have races left to compete in. But I have experienced a lot of the exact same feelings and anomalies you described. And I just wanted you to know that you… Read more »

2 years ago

This was the most honest and humble retirement/career-cap post I’ve truly ever seen a swimmer post

2 years ago

A silver olympic medal can’t be taken away.

Eddie Reese
2 years ago

You’re an Olympic silver medalist. You don’t owe anyone anything and are already a legend in the sport of swimming.

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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