INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, August 3 – Two-time world and 2004 Olympic 400-meter champion Jeremy Wariner of the United States will miss the World Championships later this month in South Korea with a season-ending foot injury.
USA Track and Field said Wariner had pulled out of a meet this weekend in London because of a foot injury, and coach Clyde Hart told the Chicago Tribune that doctors have advised Wariner to rest for two months.
Hart told the Tribune that Wariner has ligament damage in the second toe of his left foot, saying the injury prevents the 27-year-old from pushing off with his foot the way he must in a race.
“I’m disappointed that I will not be able to try to regain the world title in the 400 meters,” Wariner said in a statement. “Right now my focus is to get healthy. I wish my teammates the best.”
The injury spoils a long-anticipated showdown between Wariner and reigning world champion LaShawn Merritt, who returned last week after a 21-month doping ban. Merritt’s 2009 world title booked him a spot at the worlds.
Wariner, who was second to Tony McQuay in June’s US championships, does not want to risk further injury that might jeopardize the 2012 London Olympic season, Hart told the Tribune.
Wariner also helped the Americans win the 4×400 relay at the 2005 and 2009 world championships.
US hurdler David Oliver was among those saddened by the news, posting on the Twitter micro-blogging website: “Damn… J. Wariner out for the season! Sorry to hear that, get well man … 400 wide open at Worlds.”