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Three-time Olympic gold swimmer has pneumonia

Latest update : 2008-08-28

Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice announced she has "early stages" of pneumonia, two days after coming back from Beijing where she won three gold medals and beat three world records during the Olympic Games.

Australian swimming star Stephanie Rice, who won three gold medals and smashed world records at the Olympics, is sick with pneumonia, she said two days after returning from Beijing.

Rice, 19, has curtailed a national tour aimed at selling an underwear brand she and former boyfriend and fellow Olympian Eamon Sullivan promote after being diagnosed with the respiratory illness.

"(The doctors said) I have the early stages of pneumonia, which a lot people probably have," she said Thursday during a promotional appearance in the eastern city of Brisbane.

She said she had begun feeling ill towards the end of the Olympics.

"I haven't been well since Beijing and it's gotten a lot worse since coming home," she said in front of a crowd of several hundred autograph hunters.

Rice, 19, snared the medley double and helped the 4x200m freestyle team to victory, all in world record time.

She erased swimming's second oldest long course world record from the books, adding the 200m individual medley mark to the 400m individual medley time she set at the start of the games.

Rice led the 435-strong Australian team off the plane when they flew into Sydney on Tuesday to be greeted by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and crowd of hundreds of friends, family and cameramen.

Date created : 2008-08-28