Rio de Janeiro: Olympic canoeing champion David Cal of Spain needs to lose 20kg if he is to qualify for the Rio 2016 Games, his long-time coach Jesus Morlan has said.
Cal is currently training in Brazil after accepting an offer to reunite with Morlan, now the South American country's head canoeing coach, reports Xinhua.
The 32-year-old became Spain's most prolific Games medallist after clinching silver in the C-1 1000m event at London 2012 - his fifth Olympic podium finish.
But Cal, who won the C-1,000m event at the 2004 Games in Athens, is in a race against time to be fit for Rio 2016.
"If David wants to return I'm not going to abandon him," Morlan was quoted telling the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper Thursday.
"Here he helps the (Brazil) team. He is like a God to them. He passes on his experience and knowledge. But I'm not entirely happy. He has to be an example. He needs to lose 20kg."
Cal says he is determined to regain peak condition as he trains with Brazil's top Olympic prospects in the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte.
"There is still time," he said. "I have to work hard every day to be in good shape for 2016. I have to lose weight. It's possible."
Cal's immediate focus is on next year's world championships in Milan, where a top six finish will guarantee a berth in Rio.
Failing that, he will need to qualify via the European trials, considered to be more difficult.
"This (coming to Brazil) was the right decision for me. From 2007 to 2012 we trained alone, just me and Jesus. It was monotonous and very tough. The change has been a good thing. Here I have another routine and I'm feeling more positive," Cal said.