Olympic swimmer Pieter van den Hoogenband came fifth in the 100m free-style in Beijing on Thursday, failing to win the third consecutive Olympic gold medal he had so hoped for. The race also marked his retirement from the sport, reports ANP news service.
Van den Hoogenband, who won gold in 2000 and in Athens four years ago, finished today’s race with a time of 47.75 seconds. The gold was taken by Frenchman Alain Bernard.
‘This isn’t nice, but it’s also part of the game. He went for it but it wasn’t to be. He took a chance and lost,’ says Jacco Verhaeren, who has been Van den Hoogenband’s coach for 15 years, on the official Olympic website.
‘Nevertheless Van den Hoogenband can leave the pool with his head held high. Most people gave him a 5% chance but he still made the finals. I am happy to have worked with such an idealist and dreamer,’ says Verhaeren.
The swimmer from Eindhoven made his Olympic debut at the Games in Atlanta in 1996 and has won seven medals in total.
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