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Pardoe 'disappointed' after having to withdraw from 10km race due to injury

Hector Pardoe is feeling ‘really disappointed’ after he was unable to complete the Men’s 10km marathon swimming event at the Tokyo Olympic Games as a result of injury.

The 20-year-old had to withdraw from the race after 8km after being badly hit in the eye, resulting in his goggles breaking.

Despite his disappointment, he has vowed to not allow this experience be a setback and says his sights are now firmly set on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Speaking directly after his race, he said: “My goggle completely snapped off and I couldn’t see a thing. I didn’t realise how bad it was, it was all blurry in my eye. I lost my goggles and the race was over.

“I would have continued if I had my goggles but they sunk because I couldn’t see initially, so I was trying to – you know when you get hit and it goes all blurry and I was waiting for it to come back and then the goggles were gone and the race was finished.

“Once I got on the jetski, you can’t get back in obviously. I haven’t really properly seen it yet, I can’t really open my eye very well,” he added.

‘Really disappointed’

Pardoe explained he feels ‘really disappointed’ after having to withdraw from what was his first-ever race at an Olympic Games.

“I’ve never not finished a 10km before so it’s really disappointing in the Olympics, the biggest stage of them all,” he said. “I’ve been progressing through every race this year and I thought I had a good chance of doing something good here.

“I obviously saw from the start that it was such a fast race and I was towards the back but I tried to calm down and bring it back and secure a top ten, top 12 finish.

“I was coming through the field, I felt okay with a lap to go and I felt like I could secure that and then it was over.”

He also explained that the weather conditions in Tokyo were something he hadn’t experienced before and affected his heart rate and body temperature more than he had anticipated.

He said: “It was really hot, I noticed my heart rate was really high on the first lap when I wasn’t even pushing that much. It’s nothing I’ve really ever experienced before – I think the hottest I’ve ever done is like 23 degrees so to jump to 29, it was really difficult.

‘This is not a setback, it’s motivation’

The youngster stated that this race ‘will not be a setback’ and will instead act as ‘motivation’ for him as he now turns his focus to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

“I feel frustrateded, I knew that after three laps it was over for anything, top six or anything, but I just wanted to finish and get that top 12 because I’m still young and I knew I can come back strong in Paris and hopefully try and win it.

“This is not going to be a setback, this is going to be more motivation. I’m going to get my head down for the next three years.

“I’ll have a break though first – have a nice holiday after this – and then get my head down and grind and hopefully get back to it in Paris and try and challenge for the medals.”