British Swimmer Retires After Getting Hit by a Stray Elbow in the Face at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/05/2021, 2:48 PM EDT


Hector Pardoe is a young, promising long-distance swimmer for Great Britain. In his Olympic debut, the 20-year-old Briton was aiming for a podium finish. He competed in the men’s 10-kilometer marathon event.

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On the last lap of the race, a stray elbow caught the Team GB swimmer in his eye. His goggles came off, and he felt like he had lost his eye. It forced him to retire from the race as it compromised his vision.

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Hector Pardoe ends his race tragically 

On the last lap, the Briton was in a chasing pack as he got hit by a stray elbow to the face. “On the last lap, I took an elbow to the face, I thought I had lost the eye. My goggles completely came off. I like to think whenever I get an injury I’d be able to finish the race, but the goggles completely fell off.” Pardoe said

“And I couldn’t even get them. And I couldn’t see anything. I thought my eye had fallen out into the water.”

“And I was going up to the lifeguards saying “my eye, my eye – is it OK?”.“And they weren’t giving me a very decisive opinion.  Yeah, I had to get out after that.”

The 20-year-old added that he started to panic when he saw he wasn’t going to finish in the top five. He somehow managed to catch up with the lead group and looked like he was going to finish in the top 10. That was when he got hit by an elbow.

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The Briton added that he was not used to swimming in such warm water, and called the event, ‘a brutal contact sport’.

Journey to the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Hector Pardoe became the first British swimmer to win a medal at the World Junior Open Water Championships. He won the Bronze medal in 2017. The 20-year-old broke a British marathon swimming record in 2020 when he went under for a 25,000-meter open water swim.

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Pardoe has won 2 consecutive top-ten finishes in Doha, at the Fina Marathon Swim World Series. He then won a qualifying event in Portugal this year that confirmed his spot in the men’s 10 Kilometre marathon at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

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Allan Binoy

245 articles

Allan Binoy is a Combat Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Allan is a semi-professional football player for Diego Juniors FC.

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