Jackson on attack as Gunnell exits in tears

Mike Rowbottom on the saddening saga of Britain's world champions

Sally Gunnell made a tearful withdrawal from what was to be her first British appearance this season, in Sheffield yesterday, thereby casting doubt upon her hopes of making any kind of appearance in next month's World Championships.

Gunnell, who announced last weekend that an Achilles tendon injury would prevent her defending her 400 metres hurdles title in Gothenburg, broke down and cried during a television interview as she described how a thigh injury had forced her to pull out of the 400m flat race.

"I first felt a pain behind my thigh last Thursday in training," she said. "I felt it go again while I was warming up, and I decided not to risk it. I will run again in Germany on Friday and Saturday - I still want to run the relay in Gothenburg."

Tony Ward, the British Athletic Federation spokesman, said: "There are no qualifying standards Sally has to meet. All she has got to do is show us she is OK between now and the opening of the championships." Before she can do that, however, Gunnell must hope for a swift recovery.

While one British world champion was tearful, another - Colin Jackson - was angry yesterday as he accused the BAF of effectively forcing him out of the World Championships. Jackson, who has ruled out defending his 110m hurdles title because of an injury to his adductor muscle, blamed the federation's selection policy for his decision. Had he not been obliged to prove his competitive fitness in Sheffield, he said, he would not have had to go through the strenuous training session on Friday, during which he aggravated his injury.

"If the federation had waited, I would have been fine," he said. "As world champion and world record holder I see no reason why they had to take such a hard line."

Jackson will receive treatment in Munich this week from the specialist who treated Linford Christie last week, Dr Hans Muller-Wolfarth. But even if all the injury problems were to clear up, Jackson is adamant that he will not compete in Gothenburg. "In the circumstances my brain is dead and I could not switch it on again in time.

"It would have been a red-hot race in Gothenburg. But for the demands of the British federation I would have been there. It is a bitter pill to swallow."

Had circumstances been different, he was asked, did he think he could retain his title? The reply was emphatic: "Yes."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Designer / Design Director

£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...

Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn