Former Olympic gold medallist Duncan Armstrong has suffered a heart attack and has been rushed to hospital.
Former Olympic gold medallist Duncan Armstrong has suffered a heart attack and has been rushed to hospital.

Aussie Olympic legend suffers heart attack

Australian Olympics swimming champion Duncan Armstrong has undergone emergency bypass in a Brisbane hospital after suffering a heart attack.

The 52-year-old reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest on Tuesday and was rushed to hospital where he underwent the surgery.

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The health crisis shocked friends and family with the swimming legend still "known as a fitness freak".

News Corp reported that his inner circle of family and close friends were told Armstrong is "doing fine" but hasn't seen any visitors while still in the intensive care unit.

He is expected to make a full recovery.

Armstrong came to the forefront of the Australian sporting landscape in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul when he won the 200m freestyle and claimed silver in the 400m freestyle.

But it was the 200m that cemented Armstrong in Australian sporting folklore, when he overcame former world record holders American Matt Biondi, Polish swimmer Artur Wojdat and West Germany's Michael Gross.

It was based on a strategy devised with legendary swimming coach Laurie Lawrence to swim as close to Biondi all race.

A huge underdog heading in, ranked 25th in the world with a personal best time that wouldn't have even qualified him for the final, he went on the break the world record in the swim.

Duncan Armstrong with Laurie Lawrence.
Duncan Armstrong with Laurie Lawrence.

He and Ian Thorpe in 2004 are the only Australian men to have won the 2000 freestyle Olympic gold medal.

His 400m swim was also under world record time in 1988, but he was beaten by East Germany's Uwe Dassler.

Armstrong retired after the 1992 Barcelona Games after missing out on the medals in the 4x200m freestyle relay after Australia was disqualified from the event final.

He then became a swimming commentator on Channel 9 and Fox Sports.

He also received an Order of Australia Medal in 1989 and was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1993, the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame in 2009.

More to come...

Originally published as Aussie Olympic legend suffers heart attack



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