The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Injured Perec withdraws

Paris: France’s triple Olympic champion Marie-Jose Perec has withdrawn from the athletics world championships in Paris next month after failing to recover from a sciatic nerve injury.

“It’s over for the 400 metres,” Perec was quoted as saying by the sports daily L’Equipe on Thursday.

“I’m still training but only a miracle could help me to run in the relay. For the time being, I’m under par and I don’t want to pinch another girl’s berth.”

Perec, 35, has not competed since she fled the 2000 Sydney Olympics before her showdown with Australian Cathy Freeman in the 400 metres. She claimed she had received death threats.

Freeman, who won the gold medal on an emotional night for the host nation, retired this month.

Perec announced her return to training in February, hoping to take her revenge on home soil against Freeman. But she delayed her comeback to competition in May, saying she had to be given injections to ease her sciatic nerve pain. She had until August 13 to clock the 51.37 seconds qualifying time for the world championships.

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