Discus champion Samuels pulls out of Delhi Games
Tuesday 21 September 2010
Discus world champion Dani Samuels has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi due to security and health concerns, the Australian team said today.
"This is the hardest decision of my life and not one I took lightly," the bronze medallist from the 2006 Melbourne Games said in a statement.
"I love competing for Australia, winning a Commonwealth Games is important to me and something I've dreamed of.
"My whole year's training has been planned for this event but yesterday I couldn't even bring myself to train with stress and anxiety regarding the issues surrounding the Games."
The 22-year-old informed Australian team officials of her decision on Tuesday, two days after two Taiwanese nationals were wounded when suspected militants opened fire on a tourist bus outside the Jama Masjid mosque.
"Her reason, after great deliberation, is due to security and other potential problems to her health and well-being in New Delhi," Samuels's manager Hayden Knowles said.
"This was of such great concern to Dani that it was affecting her training, her health and her desire to participate."
Samuel's withdrawal strikes a huge blow for organisers, who have been at pains to assure athletes will be able to compete safely despite heightened security fears and some threats from militant groups that the Oct. 3-14 event would be targeted.
The Games has already been hit with several high profile withdrawals, including multiple Olympic champion Usain Bolt and Kenya's David Rudisha, who broke the 800 metres world record twice last month.
Organisers have also been embarrassed by the collapse of a footbridge just outside the main stadium that injured 23 people on Tuesday and have endured a raft of criticism from competing teams over unfinished and unclean athletes' accommodation.
The Australian Commonwealth Games Association chief executive Perry Crosswhite said he respected Samuels's decision, but reiterated that the delegation had been advised that the level of security was "acceptable" for athletes to compete.
"We have held the position all along that it is the individual athlete's prerogative as to whether or not they wish to travel to Delhi and participate in the 2010 Commonwealth Games," he said.
"It is a very personal decision and one which athletes must make in consultation with their family and individual support teams, and we accept and respect Dani's decision."
Samuels won gold at the world championships in Berlin last year.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Emirates was the easy option for Mesut Ozil. He needs a leader - and Arsenal don't have them
Gareth Bale reveals the two things he hates about Real Madrid: 'Getting nutmegged and Spanish spiders'
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao
Cristiano Ronaldo shows off his dance moves, including the moonwalk
Terminally-ill Club Brugge fan Lorenzo Schoonbaert delays euthanasia appointment to see his beloved football club 'win one last time'
- 1 Autism 'caused by genetics', study suggests
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
- 4 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Administrator - East Ridi...
£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continuous expansion and growth o...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A luxury fashion retailer based in W...