MOSCOW, (Reuters) – Yaroslav Rybakov will not defend his world high jump title because of a foot injury, the Russian said yesterday.
After initially ruling himself out of the world championships in South Korea earlier this month, Rybakov then changed his mind and decided to give himself another chance to compete in Daegu.
“Well, yesterday I tried to have a final workout but my injured foot just wouldn’t let me do it,” Rybakov told Reuters.
“I was hoping I would be able to shake off the injury, allowing me to compete in South Korea. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Basically, my season is over now.”
The world championships start on Saturday.
Rybakov, who claimed his first world outdoor title in Berlin two years ago after having to settle for silver at three previous world championships, ruled out retirement, however.
“I’m not ready to talk about it now,” he said.
“Let’s see what next year will bring. I still hope that I would be able to compete at the London Olympics,” added the 30-year-old, who finished third at the 2008 Beijing Games.
The Russians, who are not permitted to replace Rybakov in South Korea, have entered European champion Alexander Shustov, world indoor champion Ivan Ukhov and national champion Alexei Dmitrik in the men’s high jump, meaning Olympic gold medallist Andrei Silnov has missed out.