In a storyline that is coming to define his career as much as his two Olympic gold medals two, French superstar Yannick Agnel has pulled out of the 2015 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia. Angel said in a statement released via the French Swimming Federation that he suffered from “pleurisy” in early June, which caused him to shutdown his training twice and to prevent normal training for almost a month.
“I’m disappointed not to be able to defend my world title after a good start, especially as the training in Font-Romeu (May) had happened ideally. The Olympics are still my priority and I want to put all my chances for success in Rio. For this, I know that it is better to play safe since I already had a pneumonia in 2011. I prefer to fully recover, rather than spending considerable energy to prepare for the World Championships in conditions that are far from optimal. I will resume training with Lionel mid-August to prepare hard games. I have a thought for my friends of the France team, I am confident that they will surpass in Kazan, as in every big event. ”
Pleurisy is an inflammation of the lining surrounding the lungs, typically caused by viral infections. The most noteworthy symptoms are a sharp pain in the chest while breathing.
According to the FFN, Agnel will stop his training on Monday to recover, and won’t resume until mid-August, when he will begin preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
With this news, the defending 100 meter freestyle champion (James Magnussen) and 200 meter freestyle champion (Agnel) will both be out of this year’s World Championships with health problems.
Agnel pulled out of the 2014 World Short Course Championships at the last minute in 2014; and was violently sick at the 2013 French Championships and threatened to only swim relays (which he later opted against).
Besides his individual medals, this will cost France their best chances at relay medals in the 400 freestyle and 400 medley team events.
Agnel took only a bronze medal in the 200 free at the 2014 European Aquatics Championships.