Words by Colette Carr
Following devastating reclassification news, Team England swimmers Ollie Hynd and Jonathan Fox have withdrawn from next week’s Commonwealth Games.
While Fox found himself with no choice but to not attend with no event in place to accommodate his new category, Hynd made the agonising 11th hour decision not to travel.
Paralympic champion and Glasgow 2014 medallist Hynd told British Swimming; “My recent re-classification in my main swimming events from S8 to S9 has come as huge shock to me, having not previously been near to an S9 classification in all my years of competing.
“This very difficult news has taken an unbelievable toll on my training and mindset for the Commonwealth Games. With this in mind, I have reluctantly withdrawn from the competition and will not fly out to Australia.
“I would like to wish Team England and the rest of the Commonwealth Countries participating at the Gold Coast, all the very best of luck.”
Speaking in January, the 23-year-old admitted to OnTrack that the prospect of the Gold Coast gave him much-needed direction following British Swimming’s decision not to attend the World Championships in Mexico last year, saying, “it was difficult not knowing what to train for even before the decision not to attend the reschedule, but I’m fortunate to have had to Commonwealths to drive me on.”
2012 gold medallist Fox had been gearing up for his first Commonwealth before the opportunity was snatched away, telling British Swimming, “It’s a real shame and I’m obviously extremely disappointed at not being able to take part in my first Commonwealth Games.
“The reclassification means there is no event at the Games for me to compete in. Hopefully, in the future, there will be more races for para-swimmers to take part in at multi-sport events so this doesn’t happen again.
“I hope the team has an amazing time on the Gold Coast and wish them all the best.”
The Games take place from 4-15 April.