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Australian breaststroker Hodges retires with “60-year-old hips”

MELBOURNE: Australian swimmer Chelsea Hodges, who helped the nation to the gold medal in the women’s 4×100 meter medley relay at the Tokyo Olympics, retired from international swimming at the age of 22 after battling infections. injuries.

Hodges swam the breaststroke leg of the medley relay final in Tokyo as Australia edged out the United States for the title.

The Queenslander had hoped to swim one last Games with Australia’s “Dolphins” in Paris, but decided not to risk her quality of life and nursing career after multiple hip surgeries.

“I had my first hip operation when I was 15… and another last year. In fact, I have the hips of a 60-year-old,” he said in a Swimming Australia statement on Friday.

“I wanted to have one last chance at the Games, but after six cortisone injections I had to make a decision about my future.

“I know this decision means I can continue working in my career as a nurse, where I am on my feet all day.

“And I hope everything goes as planned, running on the beach with my kids. I will continue to cheer on the Dolphins in Paris and I can’t wait to see how the team does.”

Hodges’ withdrawal two weeks before the national Olympic trials leaves swimming powerhouse Australia without its third-fastest breaststroke of all time (one minute, 5.99 seconds).

Only the retired duo of Leisel Jones and Sarah Katsoulis achieved faster times.

As Hodges battles fitness issues since Tokyo, Australia has struggled for depth in the women’s breaststroke.

In February, Abbey Harkin swam the breaststroke in a modest 1:07.21 as Australia beat a weak field for the 4x100m medley relay title at the World Championships in Doha.

However, the Australians came a distant second to the powerful American team at last year’s World Championships in Fukuoka, where American Lilly King’s breaststroke time of 1:04.93 was two seconds faster than Harkin’s.

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