Sprenger shocked by death of rival

Christian Sprenger
Christian Sprenger Quinn Rooney - Getty Images

AUSTRALIAN breaststroke world record holder Christian Sprenger said he was "absolutely shocked" when he saw a Facebook post late on Tuesday night that said his long-time Norwegian rival and friend Alexander Dale Oen had died of a heart attack.

Norwegian Swimming officials said Dale Oen had been found collapsed in a shower after a training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona.

He had suffered a cardiac arrest and was unable to be resuscitated.

The 26-year-old won gold in the 100m breaststroke at the World Championships in Shanghai in July 2011 and was regarded as one of his country's best medal hopes in London.

The same age as Dale Oen, Sprenger said they had become friends and rivals a decade ago - before they even met.

"When we both started achieving good times as 16-year-olds, they'd get put on the net and we were always keeping a close eye on how each other was going," Sprenger said.

"We first raced each other in Europe in 2007. We'd both looked forward to meeting each other and we became good friends from then on."

Sprenger said Dale Oen was not only a champion in the pool, he was a champion out of it as well.

"The people you respect are those who are there whether you beat them, or you are struggling," Sprenger said.

"Alexander was one of those. He had all the characteristics of a champion."

Topics:  london olympics swimming

Shots fired into Qld home as family inside

Man, woman and three children inside home at time

Five things to do this weekend

GOOD TIMES: Head to the Ipswich Vintage and Veteran Vehicle Club swap meet on Sunday.

What's on in Ipswich

'It would be shameful if city fell to Hanson's deplorables'

Pauline Hanson

What do you think about this? Here's what you said on Facebook

Local Partners

The Koi Boys are back with more covers and original songs

Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music.

THE Voice favourites release their debut album today.

Five things to do this weekend

GOOD TIMES: Head to the Ipswich Vintage and Veteran Vehicle Club swap meet on Sunday.

What's on in Ipswich

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E10 - hometown visits

Georgia Love in a scene from season two episode 10 of The Bachelorette.

Georgia meets the families of her four beaus tonight.

The Bachelorette: Courtney too slow for Georgia's love train

Courtney Dober in a scene from The Bachelorette.

FORMER favourite eliminated after introducing Georgia to his family.

Your guide to a great night out in Ipswich

See Paisley Road live.

Check out some live and local music

Singing ex-diplomat brings Afghanistan war to life

Folk singer Fred Smith's concert draws on his experience as a diplomat in Afghanistan.

Fred Smith's regional Queensland tour focuses on the Afghanistan war

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

OPINION: Dusit Thani Resort needs our full support

An artist impression of the Dusit Thani Brookwater Golf and Spa Resort.

Resort will bring great benefits to Ipswich

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge