Injured Jana won’t defend world champs title
Australian athlete Jana Pittman-Rawlinson will not defend her world title with a back injury forcing her to withdraw from next month’s world championships in Berlin.
The dual world champion’s defence was thrown into doubt after it was revealed on Thursday she was struggling with a bulging disc in her back.
The defending 400m hurdles champion was bidding to be the first Australian to win three world titles.
But Pittman-Rawlinson released a statement on Sunday saying she would not be able to compete at her best in Berlin due to a lack of preparation.
“Unfortunately the injury to my back has meant I haven’t been able to train properly for six weeks and despite intensive treatment, it is still causing me a lot of pain and hampering my running,” Pittman-Rawlinson said from London.
“When I compete I want to do both myself and my country justice by competing at a world standard, but sadly this won’t be the case at the upcoming world championships.
“I will now continue treatment over the next few weeks before I head back to Australia, where I hope I can recover from this latest setback and get back on track for my long-term goal and dream – winning Olympic gold in London.”
Pittman-Rawlinson is no stranger to serious injury ahead of major competitions, having only just returned to the track after a year-long layoff due to complications from a serious toe injury that forced her out of the Beijing Olympics.
She also finished fifth at the Athens Olympics after suffering a knee injury a couple of weeks before the 2004 Games.
The news is a blow to Athletics Australia, with the country’s other reigning world champion, walker Nathan Deakes, already ruled out of the Berlin meet due to injury.
But the 48-member team will still boast Olympic medallists Steve Hooker, Sally McLellan and Jared Tallent.
The world championships begin on August 15.© AAP 2013