Olympic swimming medalist decides not to wait for Tokyo in 2021

Pieter Timmers
Getty Images

While the vast majority of Olympic hopefuls are continuing on for Tokyo in 2021, Rio Olympic swimming medalist Pieter Timmers decided that he will not.

Timmers, the 2016 Olympic 100m freestyle silver medalist, will retire at the end of 2020, according to a Belgian swimming federation press release.

Timmers said he could have competed for another year, but he already had unspecified plans set for August 2020 and beyond.

Timmers, now 32, was a surprise silver medalist in the Rio Olympic 100m free. He entered the Games ranked 35th in the world in 2016 after tying for seventh at the 2015 World Championships. But Timmers lowered his national record by .42 of a second and took second to Australian Kyle Chalmers. Timmers edged London Olympic champion Nathan Adrian by .05 for the silver.

He became the first Belgian Olympic swimming medalist since Fred Deburghgraeve took the 100m breaststroke at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

He ranked 24th in the world in 2019 and was eliminated in the 100m free semifinals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. In 2018, Timmers was sidelined by a collapsed lung and hospitalized with viral meningitis, according to Belgian media.

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