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French swimmer Rafael Fente-Damers suffers shoulder injury as he achieves Olympic qualification

French swimmer Rafael Fente-Damers was visibly excited when he learned he would be representing his home country at this summer’s Olympics.

But Fente-Damers’ excitement ultimately proved costly, as he suffered a shoulder injury while celebrating the milestone. He now has just over a month to recover, but he is still expected to be a part of the French 4x100m relay team in Paris. 

He earned the highly converted spot by putting up the best time of his career at France’s Olympic trials in Chartres.

Fente-Damers’ personal best time of 48.14 put him behind first-place Maxime Grousset. The qualifying time was set at 48.34.

Moments after realizing he finished in second place and beat the qualifying time, the French swimmer excitedly slapped the water in celebration. But his exuberance quickly turned to discomfort as he grabbed his left shoulder. 

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Once Fente-Damers made his way to the podium for the ceremony, he was wearing a shoulder sling.

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Fente-Damers dislocated his left shoulder, and he was transported to a hospital, according to French outlet L’Equipe.

Rafael Fente Damers stands at the podium

Grousset, the first-place finisher, did appear to signal to the medical personnel that Fente-Damers needed assistance.

Rafael Fente Damers participates in podium ceremony

Grousset also sent Fente-Damers well wishes.

“I hope it goes well for him because we’re waiting for him for the relay,” Grousset said. “He’s a bit crazy, that’s why he’s good. He’s not afraid of anything, and I think he’s going to progress.”

The 2024 Paris Olympics open on July 26 and conclude Aug. 11.

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