20 July 2009
Heptathlete Kelly Sotherton has ruled herself out of next month’s IAAF World Championships in Berlin due to a heel injury. Sotherton, who won bronze in Osaka two years ago has been struggling with her right heel since February, which also caused her to pull out of March’s European Indoor Championships.
Sotherton said: “I made the decision not to compete on Friday after a running session where the heel was still giving me problems. I probably would be able to go to Berlin and finish in the top eight, but I only want to go if I can really contend for a medal.
“It’s disappointing as this will be the first summer championship I have missed in my career, but I have got to think about my long term health and in particular everything being okay for London in three years time. I want to give myself every chance of competing at the 2012 Games.
“I will continue training to keep fit, but I am also going to speak to doctors, surgeons and specialists to look at the possibility of surgery. It is an injury that can be patched up, but it’s more important to find a long term solution, get myself fighting fit again and look to return to full training in the winter.
“I wish the whole team well for Berlin. I wish Jess Ennis all the very best too. I know she can go out there and win the gold for the team. This weekend has also seen lots of medals being won by British athletes at the European under 23 championships, there are lots of emerging names and I hope they can go on and do well for GB in Berlin.”
Sotherton is due to collect an honourary degree at Brunel University on Monday.