Schlanger pulls pin on FINA World Championships

HAMPERED: Melanie Schlanger has given up her place in the 100m and 200m relay teams for the World Championships.
HAMPERED: Melanie Schlanger has given up her place in the 100m and 200m relay teams for the World Championships. AL BELLOGETTY IMAGES

SUNSHINE Coast swimmer and Olympic gold medallist Melanie Schlanger has withdrawn from this month's FINA World Championships in Barcelona.

Schlanger, who bagged one gold and two silver medals at the 2012 London Olympics, said an ongoing rib injury would keep her from travelling to Spain.

"I got a fractured rib about three weeks before nationals but decided to swim through the injury," she said.

"That was very painful, but I still managed to qualify for the World Cham

pionships. Basically, I've been competing and training with the cracked rib ever since."

Schlanger swam admirably at the national championships to gain selection in the 4x100m and 4x200m relay teams.

However, the damage to the rib has severely hampered her preparation.

"The rehab was going well, but I ran into a bit of a problem when I started back into my training," she said.

"Just using my arms was an issue because of the muscle degeneration from the rib injury, which affected my stability. To make matters worse I got a viral infection.

"It was tough knowing I wouldn't be competing, but the fact is I'm not up to international level because being competitive against the world's best requires a certain amount of fitness that I don't have at the moment."

Adamant her absence would not affect the Australian team too much, 26-year-old Schlanger said her withdrawal would provide a younger swimmer with an opportunity.

"They aren't adding anyone new to the team, so someone else will now get their chance," she said.

Topics:  barcelona fina world championships melanie schlanger olympian

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