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2000 Bronze Swim Medalist Hurt Training

May 6, 2004

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ Chris Thompson, a bronze medalist at the 2000 Olympics and holder of the American record in the 1,500-meter freestyle, fractured both elbows during training.

Despite the mishap, which occurred Monday at the Olympic Training Center, Thompson hopes to recover in time for the July trials that will determine the team for the Athens Games.

``I should be completely healed by trials,″ Thompson said in a statement released Wednesday night. ``The question is how much training time I will miss in the next few weeks. I’m hoping I can start doing cardio in a few days and I’m going to get back in the water as soon as possible, even if I can just kick.″

Thompson was injured during what was described by USA Swimming as a ``dry land training exercise.″ Additional details were not immediately available.

The fractures are expected to take four-to-six weeks to heal. The trials will be held July 7-14 at Long Beach, Calif., about a month before the Olympics.

``I’m going to swim at trials,″ Thompson said. ``Hopefully, I can still be competitive, but if not, I’m still going to give it my best effort. I’d love to make another Olympic team, but if I don’t, I know we will be sending two good guys in the 1,500 free to Athens.″

Thompson won a surprising bronze at the Sydney Games, finishing behind Australian stars Grant Hackett and Keiren Perkins in the grueling 1,500.

Thompson had already planned to keep swimming after the Olympics, perhaps in open-water events. He may alter those plans now.

``There’s no way I’m going to end my career on something like this,″ he said. ``This might make my hunger for pool swimming go a little longer than I planned.″

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