Aussie medallist quits Olympic team at last minute

1 month ago 19

Rio 2016 athletics medallist Dane Bird-Smith has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics owed to household aesculapian reasons.

Bird-Smith, who won bronze successful the 20km contention locomotion astatine the past Games, joined the Australian athletics squad astatine their Cairns basal but decided that helium would not question to Tokyo. He confirmed the determination connected Sunday afternoon.

The 29-year-old said that helium was primed for different ace astatine the Olympics but had to stay with his family, without offering specifics.

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Dane Bird-Smith (Getty)

"Unfortunately, determination person been twists and turns implicit the past twelvemonth that each Olympians person had to face. For maine that includes household wellness challenges that person go a priority," Bird-Smith said successful an AOC statement.

"Couple these challenges with hard question restrictions astir the COVID pandemic, I person made the determination to enactment successful Australia with my household and retreat myself from the Australian Olympic squad for Tokyo.

"This is simply a pugnacious determination arsenic an athlete, but it is simply a determination that volition spot my tendency to vie and triumph for Australia powerfully proceed adjacent twelvemonth and onwards. I volition beryllium watching connected from home, cheering with my household and privation the remainder of the Australian squad each the precise best."

Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman backed Bird-Smith's decision.

"We're disappointed for Dane, but helium has made the close decision. These are hard circumstances for him and we privation Dane and his household each the precise best. We would besides petition his privateness beryllium respected," Chesterman said.

The Aussie athletics squad numbers 25 aft Bird-Smith's exit and near Cairns for Tokyo connected Sunday night.

It is simply a talented radical that volition beryllium successful the premix for a fig of medals erstwhile the Olympics athletics programme begins.

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