The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 2 , 2016

Won’t be at my best in Rio, says Nadal

- Spaniard yet to take a final call

Madrid: Rafael Nadal has conceded he is not yet sure that he will be able to represent Spain at the Rio Olympics as his fitness concerns linger.

The 2008 gold medallist withdrew from the French Open with a wrist injury and missed Wimbledon.

“I will not be at the best level in any of the categories,” Nadal told journalists after arriving in Brazil on Sunday. “I have not competed for two months and I have not trained a lot.”

“I will train a few days to see what I can do and then decide what is best, to be more positive for me and the team,” he said.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal’s Spanish team-mate David Ferrer acknowledged last week that the 14-time Grand Slam champion’s fitness situation was “delicate”.

“His situation is more delicate. It’s never easy to come back after an injury. We will see how he feels,” Ferrer had said. 

World No.5 Nadal, who is due to be Spain’s flag-bearer, was absent from the 2012 Olympics due to injury and should he withdraw, it would come as a significant blow for tennis at the Games with several other high-profile players also missing.

Roger Federer sits out due to a knee problem and Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic withdrew citing fears over the Zika virus.

Nadal, according to media reports, has moved his training to Rio after Andy Murray began his training in the Spaniard’s home island, Mallorca. 

“Looks like training in Mallorca is boosting his positivity as well as his fitness levels!” Murray captioned a photo on Instagram. 

Nadal was also in Mallorca around the same time, training with his uncle Tony and taking this opportunity to be close to his girlfriend of almost a decade, Maria Francisca Perello. 

There are fitness concerns for Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson and 400 metre hurdler Janieve Russell as well. Both have been given until August 8 to prove their fitness for the Rio Olympics after getting medical exemptions from the national trials, team bosses said.

Thompson, 2015 world 200 metre silver medallist, withdrew from the Jamaican 200m final with a hamstring niggle, two days after clocking a world leading 10.70 seconds to win the 100 metres.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Russell set a season best of 53.96 seconds on June 2 in Rome, the current third fastest in the world. She did not compete in the trials.

Ludlow Watts, manager of Jamaica’s 59 member track and field delegation, said they would be assessed at the team's pre-Olympic training base in Rio de Janeiro by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association technical committee.

“These athletes have a deadline of August 8 to prove fitness and that will be done with the medical team by the JAAA,” Watts told the Jamaica Gleaner.

“They will determine whether the athletes are medically fit to compete and, in terms of preparation, if they are ready to compete in the races.”


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