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Tuesday, 25 July 2017 09:46

FORMER OLYMPIC CHAMPION RUTHERFORD WITHDRAWS FROM LONDON 2017 WORLD CHAMPS

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British Athletics also confirmed that, reigning long jump world champion, Greg Rutherford has been forced to withdraw from the squad after failing to recover from an ankle ligament injury.

“In the last few days I have had to accept an unfortunate reality. I did everything I could, but a string of injuries at the worst possible time means I will be unable to defend my world title in London" said Rutherford. “With an incredible start to the year in training, and very promising early season form, I have had a difficult series of setbacks as the season progressed. Most recently, a badly damaged ankle ligament and a sportsman's hernia, really put paid to my plans. The injuries have taken longer to heal than we hoped, and I have been unable to even jump at all in training, let alone compete.

“I am truly gutted. That stadium is such a special place for me, I am so devastated that I won’t be competing in front of the best fans in the world, in the stadium that changed my life. But, I’ll definitely be there to support my British team mates and soak up what will be an amazing atmosphere, and an amazing championships.

“My focus will now turn to 2018 and becoming a three time European champion on the trot, something no long jumper has ever done before.”

Added Black: “Greg is one of only a few British athletes to complete the ‘Grand Slam’ of medals, but that won’t make missing London any easier. He desperately wanted to defend his world title in front of the home crowd, but unfortunately his injury hasn’t cleared up in time and the hard but sensible decision had to be made to withdraw.”

Reigning 60m European Athletics Indoor champion, Richard Kilty (Kevin Kilty) has also been forced to withdraw from the 4x100m relay squad, after breaking a finger on his changeover hand.

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