• Kyodo

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Rio Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Hagino indicated Wednesday he plans to undergo surgery on his right elbow next week and expects to sit out all swimming competitions for the rest of this year, including December’s world short course swimming championships in Canada.

Hagino, who won the men’s 400-meter individual medley last month in Rio de Janeiro, will have bone growth, which appeared after he broke his elbow in June last year, removed through endoscopic surgery on Sept. 28.

He said he is likely to resume underwater training about a month after the operation, but will not compete until next year so that he can pace himself toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hagino, 22, will also skip the World Cup meet scheduled in Tokyo in late October and the Asian championships in November, also in the Japanese capital.

“I’ve been feeling that something is wrong (with the elbow) ever since the fracture and it felt like I was swimming with weights on,” Hagino said. “I want to prepare myself looking ahead to four years from now so that I can compete in races without any uneasiness.”

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