| Perec has turned down an offer to run the relay, as her sciatica hasn’t improved
Paris, Aug. 9 (AFP): Triple Olympic champion Marie-Jose Perec has turned down an offer from French athletics selectors to run in the world championships here as part of the 4x400 relay team.
The 35-year-old, who has not raced for three years, had already pulled out of the individual events because of sciatica, but the selectors left a spot in the relay team open for her.
Perec confirmed on Friday that the miracle she had been hoping for to compete in the relay had not occurred and she would not be competing in the August 23-31 event.
“I spoke this morning with DTN (national technical director) Robert Poirier and told him that I would not compete in the relay,” said Perec, who was Olympic 400m champion at Barcelona in 1992 and completed a 200m-400m double at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
“It hasn’t improved and there’s nothing I can do about it. Last week I only trained three times,” said Perec, adding that Poirier had invited her to nevertheless enjoy the worlds as if she were part of the team.
Britain’s Jonathan Edwards, meanwhile, is facing a last-minute battle to defend his triple jump world crown at the world meet after sustaining a right ankle injury at the London Grand Prix on Friday night.
Edwards, who is also the world record holder in the event, was wheeled off on a stretcher after being left grimacing in pain in the sand pit after what seemed like an awkward take off during the final part of his triple jump.
The 37-year-old was lying second to eventual winner Leevan Sands at the time but hit difficulties on his fifth attempt when trying to regain the lead.
Now British team bosses are sweating over Edwards’ availability for Paris.
“His right ankle was up like a balloon,” said a trackside official. “The pain on Jonathan’s face was clear to see.”
Despite returning to his hotel on crutches, Edwards still hasn’t ruled out chasing a third world gold medal at the championships.
World record-holder Tim Montgomery's prospects of winning the world 100m title in Paris suffered a further blow when he failed to qualify for the Grand Prix final, which won by Britain’s Dwain Chambers.
Montgomery, who was sixth in Stockholm on Tuesday, had a dismal start in his heat when he slipped in the blocks and was left trailing by the rest of the field. The 28-year-old made up some ground in the middle of the race but finished sixth in 10.13.
Olympic 110m hurdles champion Anier Garcia has admitted he is uncertain for the championships too after a recent thigh injury flared up at the Pan-Am Games on Friday, adds a report from Santo Domingo.
Garcia, who sustained the injury to his right thigh in training three weeks ago, could only finish fifth in 13.57 seconds in his heat and may now miss Paris.