Tokyo Olympics: Heartbreaking Demise of Australian Swimming Champion and 2016 Gold Medalist Mack Horton

Heartbreak for Rio hero Mack Horton as the Australian swimming champion is dropped from his only event in Tokyo after being touted as our ‘next superstar’ in 2016

Australian swimmer Mack Horton’s slump continued with a disappointing performance in his one and only event at the Tokyo Olympics.

Horton, who won gold in the 400-meter freestyle at the previous Games in Rio de Janeiro, clocked the slowest stage for Australia in the men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay on Tuesday evening.

Horton, 25, was ousted from the team for Wednesday morning’s final, where Australia claimed bronze behind Great Britain and Russia.

He had predicted his omission from the relay final moments after the heats, where Australia qualified second.

Mack Horton (pictured) was heartbroken with his plunge into the men’s 4×200 relay series

“Probably not as good as I had hoped,” Horton told Channel Seven afterwards.

“It probably wasn’t good enough to get through to the last team, which is heartbreaking, but we got the team through and that’s all that matters.

“It was a privilege to be a part of it.”

He will leave Tokyo with a bronze medal for his swimming in the relay heats.

Five years ago, Horton was hailed as the pole’s next superstar after winning gold in Rio.

He subsequently made headlines worldwide for branding Chinese arch-rival Sun Yanga a drug impostor, leading to a bitter long-lasting feud between the pair.

The relay was Mack Horton's only event in Tokyo.  He is pictured with his girlfriend Ella

The relay was Mack Horton’s only event in Tokyo. He is pictured with his girlfriend Ella

He was unable to defend the 400m freestyle title in Tokyo because he finished outside the qualifying top two in the Australian tests in June.

Horton finished sixth in the 200-meter final at those tests, but scraped into the Olympic squad as a member of the relay.

Just two years ago, Horton swam a blistering anchor leg for Australia in the men’s 4 x 200m relay at the 2019 World Championships in South Korea.

“I really wanted to be on that relay race because what was happening on the worlds was unreal,” Horton recently said. the Australian.

“That was probably one of the best international swims I’ve done, that anchor leg, so I want to be a part of that again.”

Mack Horton clocked the slowest stage for Australia in the relay heats on Tuesday evening

Mack Horton clocked the slowest stage for Australia in the relay heats on Tuesday evening

Horton also won an individual silver medal at the same world titles, where he famously refused to be on the medal podium with race winner Yang.

Horton held out in the tricky medal ceremony after previously being the only swimmer in the field not to shake Sun’s hand after the race.

Yang was banned for more than four years for violating anti-doping rules after refusing to cooperate with sample collectors in 2018.

Sun denied wrongdoing and his original eight-year ban imposed last year was recently overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court of Switzerland, which ordered a new prosecution.

Despite a disappointing show in Tokyo, Horton recently indicated that he plans to continue swimming and had his sights set on a third Olympic Games in 2024 in Paris.

Five years ago, Mack Horton topped the world after winning Olympic gold in the 400m freestyle in Rio

Five years ago, Mack Horton topped the world after winning Olympic gold in the 400m freestyle in Rio

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