Sutton Paralympic swimming star Ollie Hynd has withdrawn from competing at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
His decision comes just weeks after a reclassification by the International Paralympic Committee ruled he would compete against less-impaired swimmers.
Hynd had been in the S8 class since he began competing on the international circuit in 2011 but that changed earlier this month after IPC tests for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
In a statement published on his management’s website, Hynd - reigning Paralympic, Commonwealth, British, European and World swimming champion - said the changes had taken its toll.
The statement read: “My recent re-classification in my main swimming events from S8 to S9 has come as huge shock to me, having not previously been near to an S9 classification in all my years of competing.
“This very difficult news has taken an unbelievable toll on my training and mindset for the Commonwealth Games. With this in mind, I have reluctantly withdrawn from the competition and will not fly out to Australia.
“Team England have pulled out all the stops in trying to ensure my continued participation. I wholeheartedly thank them for their efforts and amazing support shown. I would like to wish Team England and the rest of the Commonwealth Countries participating at the Gold Coast, all the very best of luck.
“My team and I have a huge amount of work to be getting on with. Having said that, I’ll be taking a short break before the journey to Tokyo 2020 gets rolling over the next few weeks, back in the pool.
“Lastly, I would like to thank my family, friends and fans for their positivity and kind words over the last few weeks, it means so much. Equally, I would like to thank the world class team around me for their professional guidance and support.”