Australia's world champion 100 metres hurdler Sally Pearson has been forced to withdraw from her home Commonwealth Games as she battles a serious Achilles injury that could sideline her for up to a year.
Pearson's absence is another blow for the Games which have already been hit by a number of high-profile withdrawals by top athletes.
"Gutted. Absolutely gutted," Pearson, a Gold Coast resident who had been the Games' main ambassador for years, said. "There were a lot of tears flowing.
"I guess you could call it grief. I was double and triple checking it was the right decision (to withdraw).
"Not being able to go out on that track and run for Australia is gut wrenching."
Pearson, who won gold at the London Olympics, said she knew she would not compete for two days but had delayed the announcement to play a part in the opening ceremony at Carrara Stadium on Wednesday where she was last baton-bearer in the relay.
"I had a big role to play in the opening ceremony which is why I waited until today to make the announcement," said Pearson, one of Australia's most decorated track athletes.
"I did everything I possibly could. I left no stone unturned to run in the 100m hurdles and the 4x100m relay."
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