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Jessica Ennis-Hill drops out of worlds through injury

August 1, 2013 at 1:39 am | News Desk

Ennis-Hill drops out of worlds through injury LONDON, England: Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill has withdrawn from next month’s athletics world championships because of injury, she said on Wednesday.

Ennis-Hill was provisionally named in the Great Britain squad on Tuesday for the competition in Moscow from August 10-18, despite struggling with an Achilles problem for the last few months.

But she said in a British Athletics statement: “Up until now, we have been focusing on managing the pain so I can train and get myself in shape to go out there to win in Moscow — which has meant not focusing on finding a cure for the injury.

“The time has come now to stop chasing fitness and look to cure the problem.”

Ennis-Hill, 27, was one of the stars of the London Olympics last year and her victory in the seven-event competition made her one of Britain’s most recognisable sports stars.

She competed at last weekend’s Diamond League/Anniversary Games meeting at the Olympic Stadium in east London with her ankle heavily strapped, finishing fourth in the 100m hurdles and eighth in the long jump.

The athlete from Sheffield, northern England, said she was happy to have competed again at the scene of her Olympic triumph but was disappointed not to be going to the Russian capital.

“To say I am gutted is an understatement — no athlete likes to miss the opportunity to compete at a major Championships — they don’t come round that often,” she said on britishathletics.org.uk.

Ennis-Hill’s coach, Toni Minichiello, said in the same statement: “It’s not been the easiest or simplest of decisions.

“The pain management did not improve and Jessica was able to compete in London but the next few days have not seen enough improvement that would have made completing the two-day, seven events of the heptathlon possible.”

He said he also had to weigh up the risks of further damage to the ankle and the aim now was to prepare for Ennis-Hill to compete indoors in 2014.

British Athletics performance director Neil Black supported the decision, which leaves just one British woman competitor in the heptathlon, Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

The 20-year-old from Liverpool, northwest England, competed in London last year and finished 15th.

Ennis-Hill is the latest high-profile withdrawal from the world athletics championships, after Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha of Kenya also pulled out through injury.

Sprint events have been hit after Jamaica’s Asafa Powell and US runner Tyson Gay — two of the fastest men ever over 100m — tested positive for banned substances.

Jamaican ace Usain Bolt’s training partner and the reigning world champion at the distance, Yohan Blake, has withdrawn with a hamstring injury.

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