Australian champion Jeff Riseley (Vic) has been forced to withdraw from his semi-final of the men’s 800m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing (CHN).
Battling acute soreness to his plantar facia, the two-time Olympian has decided to focus solely on his preparation for Rio 2016 and not risk a more serious injury that would impede his preparation for the grandest of all athletics stages next year.
“This isn’t the result that I wanted but it’s the best decision to ensure my preparation for Rio. I worked hard with the Athletics Australia medical team and my coach to give myself the best possible chance for a start in the semi-final, but during my warm up I could not do what I needed to do to run well. I don’t want to compete at a level any less than what I know I am capable of. It’s disappointing, but in my best interest long term,” Riseley said.
“I came here in amazing shape and think I showed that in the heat. The plan now is to recover and make sure that I take a similar level of preparation to the Olympic Games. I know I am able to run well against the best at a major championship and plan on doing that through more than the first round next year.”
The Australian Flame will return to the Bird’s Nest tomorrow, with ten athletes to compete in one of the busiest days of the green and gold program.
Nina Kennedy (WA) and Alana Boyd (Qld) will launch proceedings alongside Dani Samuels (NSW) in the qualifying rounds of the women’s pole vault and women’s discus throw respectively, before Victoria Mitchell (NSW), Madeline Heiner (NSW) and Genevieve LaCaze (Vic) start in the women’s 3000m steeplechase.
The morning session will also welcome Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) for the qualifying round of the men’s long jump and Anneliese Rubie (NSW) for the heats of the men’s 400m.
Lauren Wells (ACT) will then headline action in the afternoon in the semi-final of the women’s 400m hurdles, while Hamish Peacock (Tas) will start in the qualifying round of the men’s javelin.