Loughran hospitalised

p45344Sport-10-1

Published: Wednesday 24th June 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Olympic swimmer Marco Loughran has been hospitalised in Denmark after an apparent road rage attack.

The backstroke specialist, who competed for Great Britain at London 2012 and for Wales at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, was in Copenhagen with his girlfriend Jeanette Ottesen, Denmark’s World and European butterfly champion, when the incident allegedly took place on Sunday.

Ottesen said she also sustained injuries in the attack in which Loughran reportedly suffered a gash in his head, a split eyebrow, several broken teeth and a damaged shoulder.

The 27-year-old Ottesen told Danish television station TV 2 SPORT the alleged attacker was angered by her driving and started an altercation with the two swimmers.

“I am deeply shocked. We were attacked in the car in the middle of Copenhagen as the person who was driving behind thought I was driving too slowly,” Ottesen said.

“He beat Marco several times in the head, and when I tried to defend him I was hit on my fingers.

“He (Loughran) is in the hospital but he takes it all with a smile and makes jokes.”

Loughran, who became the men’s 50 metres backstroke British champion in 2013 having swam the discipline over 200 metres at the London Olympics the previous year, has moved to Denmark since competing for Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last August.

He did not compete at either the Welsh Championships or the British Championships this year but Swim Wales chief executive Robert James said the 26-year-old who was in the same University of Florida team as 11-time Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte has told them he plans to return to international competition in the future.

Guildford City’s Swimming Club Josh Williamson, who coached Loughran before the swimmer moved to Denmark, told Press Association Sport: “What has happened sounds like a nasty incident and I have sent Marco a message wishing him all the best.

“I have not heard back from him yet but I am sure I will when he is well enough to do so.

“We have got a really good relationship but at this moment he is living and training abroad.”

Ottesen said she broke one finger and sprained another in the attack and her injuries are a concern ahead of next month’s World Championships in Russia.

The two-time world champion, a national hero in Denmark, is due to defend her 50 metres butterfly title in Kazan and is also a medal hopeful over 100 metres but has been told to take a three-week break from swimming.

“I have been out for a little swim but it is very painful for me,” Ottesen said.

“But it is probably more mental right now because I have been shaken by this.”

Published: Wednesday 24th June 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search