OMAHA, Neb. —Josh Prenot failed to advance from the preliminaries of the 200-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Wednesday, a bitter blow for the silver medalist from the 2016 Rio Games.
Prenot said he’ll take at least the next year off to “see if I forget how much I currently hate” the sport.
He came in as the No. 4 seed but only managed the 17th-best time of 2 minutes, 13.42 seconds. The top 16 advanced to the evening semifinals.
Prenot’s time was nearly 6 seconds slower than his performance in Rio, where the 27-year-old Missouri native was runner-up to Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan.
Afterward, Prenot apologized for his performance in a series of Twitter posts that also hinted his career may be over.
“I’m sorry to the people who have been rooting for me and believing in me,” he wrote. “It’s not for lack of effort, but I’m clearly not anywhere near my best and haven’t been for quite a while.”
As for the future, Prenot wrote that he was taking a lengthy break from swimming and isn’t sure if he’ll return.
“Not taking my name off the anti-doping list just yet but also definitely not racing for the next year at least,” he said, which would take him out of the mix for next year’s world championships in Japan. “We’ll see if I forget how much I currently hate it and end up missing it at some point.”