ATHLETICS: Gunnell hits Achilles injury hurdle

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The Independent Online


Sally Gunnell's participation in this month's Europa Cup is in doubt following yesterday's announcement that she is delaying the start of her season to recover from an Achilles tendon injury.

The British team captain withdrew from last night's meeting in Turin, where she was due to run in the 400 metres, and has also pulled out of next Thursday's grand prix in Rome, where she was due to run her first 400m hurdles of the year.

Gunnell's agent, Jonathan Marks, confirmed yesterday that her next target is the Nuremburg meeting on 15 June - three days after the main British team will be announced, and only nine days before the European Cup starts in Lille, France. "If she can't make Nuremburg we will have to rethink the season," Marks said.

The injury, which she picked up while warm-weather training in Florida, is currently preventing her from hurdling, and she is receiving daily physiotherapy.

Liz McColgan, meanwhile, has been picked for the European Cup 10,000m place, even though she has not raced at the distance since the 1992 Olympics. Paul Evans has been named in the men's 10,000m.

McColgan, fifth in this year's London Marathon, has withdrawn from Monday's 10,000m race in Hengelo in favour of a five-mile road race in Switzerland next weekend.

Both McColgan and Evans require the A standard to compete in the world championships in Gothenburg in August; they will be selected automatically if they meet the times in Lille.