It’s not surprising for Finnish athlete Jonne Koski to finish well in whatever water events The CrossFit Games throw his way. In 2014 and 2015, he finished top two on workouts with swim/water elements, and it’s clear Koski’s background in youth swimming has given him an advantage in the water.

So when Koski finished first in the 2016 Swim Sprint event — where all 80 male and female Individual competitors hit the water together fora  500 meter ocean swim — it didn’t raise too many question. What happened next, however, did.

Koski withdrew. His announcement post on Instagram is excerpted below:

A photo posted by Jonne Koski (@jonnekoski) on

Well 2016 CrossFit Games didn’t go as I hoped – Unfortunately I had to withdraw from the competition yesterday due to a back injury.

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with a bulging disc and it’s been a frustrating fight ever since when trying to get it back to 100% while still wanting to compete. It feels devastating to stop now but after day 1&2 I could barely tie my own shoes due to massive pain and tingling on my back, right glute and hamstring and since I’m in this for the long run I can’t risk it to get any worse even if there is nothing I would rather do than continue competing.

Big thanks to @crossfitgames and @thedavecastro for awesome 2 days. I am extremely happy and proud that I made it to the CrossFit Games this year and got to experience the ranch and compete against the best of the best. Good luck to all the competitors!

I will be back next year!

The athlete from Pori, Finland, has been dealing with a back injury he attributed to overtraining, travel, and a combination of the two. It was enough for Koski to withdraw from his third CrossFit Games before Individual Murph on Friday morning.

A photo posted by Jonne Koski (@jonnekoski) on

Koski’s withdrawal will come as a disappointment to his fans who were expecting big things from the 21 year old athlete. He improved from 32nd in 2014 to 9th in 2015, and this year, he clearly had his sights set on a podium finish.

But the back injury was too much for Koski to overcome, and he ended up finishing 24th on the Trail Run, 35th on the deadlift ladder, and dead last on the Ranch Mini Chipper before taking first on Wednesday’s only event: the swim.

We’re wishing Koski a speedy recovery as he rests and plans for next season. Koski qualified for his first Games (2014) at just 19 years old, winning the European Region in shocking fashion. He’s still incredibly young and may still have yet to reach his athletic prime.

Featured Image: Jonne Koski’s Instagram (@jonnekoski)

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