Jenny Meadows has been ruled out for a second successive season having suffered a stress fracture in her thighbone.
It is a devastating blow to the former world 800m bronze medallist after injury also ended her hopes of running in last year’s London Olympics.
The 32-year-old had returned to action this year with the aim of winning another world championship medal in Moscow to follow her 2009 bronze. She finished fourth in the European Indoors earlier this year as she eased back into action but will not step on to the track again this season.
“It feels especially cruel on the back of the heartache of missing last year’s Games and then getting myself back to such great shape,” said Meadows, who missed the London Games with a long-term Achilles injury.
“This has obviously come as a shock as I had a full season of races planned and coming off the indoor season we were just so positive. Training was going so well, and my times were indicating I could compete for a medal in Moscow and set a career best time this season.
“I won’t disappear off the scene. I will work with the UK Athletics medical staff to overcome this and get back to competition in 2014. There is the lure of three potential medals to keep me motivated at the world indoors, European Championships and Commonwealth Games. I’ve shown I can get back before and I will do so again.”
Meadows was encouraged by Kelly Holmes to believe she can mount a successful comeback despite her age. Holmes was 34 when she won her two gold medals at the Athens Olympics.
“Jenny has an ability to fight for what she wants and the advantage she possesses is that she has been there and done it at the top level,” said Holmes. “She only has to look at me. The key, I believe, is to stay motivated, especially if she picks up injury. She has the ability in abundance; it’s all about keeping her mind strong and focused that it will come back.”