Pardoe said after dropping out of the race he thought he had lost an eye.
“I got an elbow in the eye — I’m not sure who it was — on the last lap. My goggle snapped off and I couldn’t see a thing,” he said, via Swimming World. “It swelled up and I didn’t realize how bad it was — it was all blurry.
“I couldn’t see anything and thought my eye had fallen out in the water and I was going up to the lifeguard screaming ‘my eye, my eye, is it OK?’” he added, according to BBC.
Pardoe said he was “bleeding everywhere” but was sure he’d be fine eventually.
He had two top 10 finishes in the FINA Marathon Swim World Series that helped him get to the Olympics in the first place. He was the first British swimmer to medal at the World Junior Open Water Championships in 2017. He picked up a bronze medal.
German swimmer Florian Wellbrock finished with the gold medal. Hungary’s Kristof Rasovsky finished with the silver medal and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri had the bronze medal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.