London Olympic gold medallist Brittany Elmslie has withdrawn from the Australian swimming team for this year’s FINA World Championships in Russia after undergoing surgery to a remove a benign growth in her breast.
Elmslie, who turns 21 on Friday, has pulled out of the team after the operation three weeks ago and the recovery causing her to miss vital training time in the past month.
The Brisbane-based freestyler was selected to race the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays in Kazan (August 2-9) but, after discussions with her coach Michael Bohl and Swimming Australia (SA), a relieved Elmslie believed it was in her and the team’s best interests to withdraw.
Elmslie informed SA on Friday.
“I’m disappointed not to be able to be in Kazan and be part of another successful Dolphins team but I know I am not ready to give my best for the team and that wouldn’t be fair on either myself or the team,” said Elmslie.
“I haven’t been able to put in the training that’s required to compete at that level and, after a lot of thought, I have decided that I am best to work through my health issues here in Australia and begin my preparation for the Olympic trials (next April in Adelaide) now.
“Swimming Australia and the people in my personal support group have been great in the last few weeks and I want to be able to repay their faith by being in the best shape possible in 2016.
“I am meeting with national head coach Jacco Verhaeren and support staff this week to map out the next 12 months.”