London, July 25 (IANS) British long jump champion Greg Rutherford will not be able to defend his title at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 in August, as he pulled out on Tuesday.
British Athletics announced that 30-year-old Rutherford, who won the gold medal in the London Olympics, has been forced to withdraw as he could not recover in time from an ankle injury he has been struggling with recently, reports Efe.
“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,” the winner of the long jump at the 2016 European Championship told British Athletics’ website.
“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,” he added.
He said he is “truly gutted” that the injury he sustained did not heal as fast as he hoped, and prevented him from competing in front of a home crowd.
Rutherford wished, via Facebook, the British team, which will consist of a record 81 athletes, “all the luck in the world” in the event scheduled for August 4-13 in London.