The French ITU triathlete, Laurent Vidal, has reportedly suffered a heart attack whilst training yesterday.
According to the French newspaper Midi Libre, the 30-year-old complained of chest pain whilst swimming, left the pool and went into cardiac arrest as the emergency services were called. On regaining consciousness he was airlifted to hospital in Montpellier.
Two-time Olympian Vidal, whose partner is New Zealand elite female triathlete Andrea Hewitt, is a consistent performer at the front of ITU races and last raced in New Plymouth in New Zealand in March, where he finished 10th.
He was also sixth in the London Grand Final in September and fifth in the London Olympic Games, a place behind team-mate David Hauss and less than a minute behind gold medal winner Alistair Brownlee.
Fellow triathletes rallied round to offer support on social media. Men’s world champion Javier Gomez tweeted:
Wishing all the best to my friend @laurentvidal get well soon man
— Javi Gomez Noya (@Jgomeznoya) April 24, 2014
The sentiment was echoed by women’s world champ Non Stanford:
— Non Stanford (@NonStanford) April 24, 2014
And Hamish Carter, the 2004 Olympic champ who himself has suffered heart problems, added to 220: “My thoughts go out to Laurent, his family and Andrea. He’s a great guy and I hope he recovers soon.”
We’ll keep you updated on this story when we have news. The 220 Team wishes Laurent a speedy recovery.