PARIS, France, July 20 – World indoor triple jump champion Teddy Tamgho of France has withdrawn from next month’s world championships with a fractured ankle joint.
The 22-year-old Tamgho, whose personal best of 17.98 metres is the third longest jump in the event’s history, sustained the injury on Saturday during a warm-up at the under-23 European championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
“In our sport, we push our bodies to the limit every single day,” Tamgho said on Tuesday, putting the injury into perspective.
“When we train, there is a 50 percent chance that we will get injured.
“If it had happened on July 18, 2012, then I would be in tears, but right now I still have plenty of time”, he continued, turning his focus towards next year’s London Olympics.
Tamgho would have been among the medal contenders for the August 27-September 4 worlds in Daegu, South Korea, having set the season’s lead jump of 17.91m in Lausanne last month.
News of the injury is a major blow to French hopes of success in South Korea, and the French Athletics Federation’s National Technical Director Ghani Yalouz admitted that care will have to be taken to make sure that Tamgho returns with a chance of winning a medal in London.
“I am sorry for him. In athletics nothing can be left to chance because an injury can happen all of a sudden,” said Yalouz.
“We must take this as an indication that we need to be very careful that he doesn’t suffer the same problem before the Olympics in London.
“Clearly, we have lost one of our major medal hopes for the worlds.”
Tamgho was taking part in the junior meet in Ostrava to get in some valuable outdoor competition time before being scheduled to appear in Friday’s Diamond League meeting in Monaco and the worlds.
Meanwhile, double amputee track sensation Oscar Pistorius has qualified for Daegu after clocking 45.07 seconds for the 400 metres at a meeting here on Tuesday.
The South African, known as the “Blade Runner,” who runs with carbon fibre prosthetic running blades, finished clear of the field as he smashed his personal best of 45.61.
The 24-year-old, a four-time Paralympic gold medallist, will become the first amputee sprinter to compete at the World Championships which get under way in Daegu, South Korea, on August 27.
Pistorius, who had both lower legs amputated when he was 11 months old, failed to qualify for the 400m at the 2008 Beijing Games.
In 2008, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in his favour after a lengthy legal battle with the International Association of Athletics Federations over his blades.
America’s 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin — who was banned from track and field for four years after failing a doping test in 2006 — won the men’s 4×100 relay race here along with compatriots Trell Kimmons, Mike Rodgers and Walter Dix in 37.90sec.