Injury keeps Gunnell out

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The Independent Online
ATHLETICS

Sally Gunnell has abandoned her plans to compete indoors this season because of a heel injury, writes Mike Rowbottom. The world and Olympic 400 metre hurdles champion withdrew from last weekend's international against France after returning from South Africa 10 days ago with an inflamed bursa.

Yesterday, she pulled out of the KP Invitation event in Birmingham on 25 February, and her coach, Bruce Longden, confirmed that she would not run in Sindelfingen on 4 March.

"We don't look upon it as anything serious," Longden said. "I expect her to be back in full training by this weekend. But we have been advised that competing on the boards might not help her, and there are more important things this year."

The British Athletic Federation is to continue its first-past-the-post policy of selection for the World Championships in Gothenburg in August. Winners in July's AAA championships will be guaranteed places, providing they have achieved the required standard, leaving the selectors to choose up to two more per event.

Athletes will be excused competing in these trials only on the written authority of the chairman of selectors, David Cropper.

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