Kelly Sotherton has declared her retirement after failing to recover from a back problem in time to be eligible for the heptathlon at London 2012. The 2004 Athens bronze medallist just had an operation to take away a piece of disc and medics told her she could be running within six weeks. But that means the 35-year-old misses the GB Olympics selection deadline. “I was always retiring this year but it is unsatisfaction it is just before the Olympics,” Sotherton told.
Sotherton, who also won Commonwealth gold in the heptathlon at Melbourne in 2006 and bronze at the World Championships in Osaka a year later, returned to the event last year after leave it in favour of the 400m in 2010. She was competing at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge in Italy earlier this month when she broke down in the 200m and said she knew right away the injury was serious enough to end her dream of challenging in London.
“I’ve had an injury-plagued back for eight years and had prolapsed discus in 2010 and it was a 50-50 risk going into this year,” Sotherton explained. “I didn’t know if I was going to make the Olympics and I was halfway through a heptathlon three weeks ago and my prolapsed disc got worse, hit a nerve, I could hardly walk and my leg was terrible. It was dreadfully painful.”
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