Meningitis threatens Pieter Timmers’ European Championship hopes

The swimmer Pieter Timmers who took silver for Belgium at the Rio Olympics is ill in bed with meningitis. News of the swimmer’s illness was broke on social media by his wife Elle De Leeuw. Pieter Timmers’ illness could well threaten the Flemings' chances at the European Swimming Championships that start on Friday.      

"Pieter should normally have left for the European Championships in top form, but last night he was rushed to hospital with meningitis”, Elle De Leeuw wrote.  

“This is indeed a great blow. Pieter was doing well in training. He was very enthusiastic and he was very motivated”, the Belgian team coach Rik Valcke told VRT Sport.  

"It is far from ideal that this has happened now, but let us hope that it will be alright”.

"Not only thanks to his performances in individual races is Pieter Timmers important, but he is also important in the team events and we really can’t replace him”.

"If Pieter can’t participate then it is a great loss. He is the fastest swimmer we have and we can’t replace him”.  

"At the moment it looks as though it is viral meningitis. Pieter is under observation and is receiving treatment in Antwerp University hospital”.  

"He will undergo a number of tests and rest over the next few days”, Rik Valcke added.