More Sports / Swimming

Hagino planning to undergo rehab in U.S.

Kyodo

Four-time Olympic medalist Kosuke Hagino said Sunday he will do rehab training for a month in Arizona this fall as he sets his sights on making a full comeback from last year’s elbow surgery.

In a bid to return to top form after surgery cut his season short, the 23-year-old is seeking a change of training environment, where he hopes to shake off fitness concerns. He also said he will wrap up the traveling with a study-abroad program in the United States or Britain.

“It’s a waste to stay in Japan. I feel like there are new things out there,” Hagino said at Haneda airport upon his return from the Summer Universiade in Taiwan, his last event of the season.

Hagino revealed the Arizona facility was referred to him by two-time double Olympic breaststroke champion Kosuke Kitajima, who is scheduled to accompany him for part of the trip.

“I want to soak up all kinds of experiences and be an aggressive challenger,” he said.

Last September, Hagino underwent successful elbow surgery stemming from a pre-world championships accident when he fell off a bike and broke his elbow during a training camp in France in July 2015.

Hagino won gold in the men’s 400-meter individual medley, silver in the 200 IM and bronze in the 4×200 relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics as well as bronze at the 2012 London Olympics. He has also claimed three silver medals at the world championships — one in Budapest last month and two in Barcelona in 2013.