Australian and Oceania long jump record holder Mitchell Watt (Qld) has today confirmed his intention to withdraw from the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow this August.
Pre-selected to compete after winning silver at the 2012 London Olympic Games, Watt has across this season endured injury problems that have prevented a preparation appropriate for competition alongside his Australian Flame teammates.
“Together with my coach I have unfortunately decided not to compete at the IAAF World Championships this year,” Watt said.
“I have been battling ankle and Achilles pain across my early season and this has caused continued trouble for me in practice and competition. I’m not someone that just wants to show up at an event and given these circumstances I will not be 100% competitive this season and need more time to overcome the issue.
Watt is determined to return better than ever, and cites his aspirations to compete at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games as his motivation.
“I’m only 25 and I have already been fortunate enough to win four major championship medals but this was a very tough call. That said, we made the same decision in 2010 when I didn’t compete at the World Indoors and I went on to jump an Australian and Oceania record later in that season,” Watt added.
“I’m already looking forward to being pain free and ready for the World Indoors early next year and the Commonwealth Games as well.”
Watt had not yet departed Australia for competition in Europe, and as such will remain at home in the coming months as he works to solve the injury concerns that have plagued his 2013 season.
Watt’s withdrawal opens up the third spot in the men’s long jump. At this stage, Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) is the only automatic selection for the event after he won the national title and leapt an A-Qualifying mark of 8.25m in Dallas (USA) last month.
The Final Selectors Meeting, at which all additional Australian Flame selections will be determined, is scheduled for the week commencing 29 July 2013.
Subscribe to our newsletters to keep up to date with Athletics in Australia.