In yet another setback to the controversy-ridden Commonwealth Games, Australia’s triple Olympic gold medallist swimmer Stephanie Rice has pulled out of October 3—14 mega-event in New Delhi due to a shoulder injury.
The 22-year-old swimmer, who is struggling with a problem in her right shoulder since March, also has been ruled out of the ongoing Pan Pacific Championships in California.
Rice decided to skip the Delhi Games to undergo a surgery in her shoulder in the hope of getting her full fitness before the 2012 London Olympics.
She had earlier put off the surgery till the Commonwealth Games but decided to fix her inflamed joint immediately after consulting her coach Michael Bohl.
“It’s very disappointing, the Melbourne Commonwealth Games was a fantastic event to be part of, and for me personally, and I was really looking forward to the colour and excitement of Delhi,” an emotional Rice was quoted as saying in the Swimming Australia website.
“To not be able to compete at 100 per cent here at the Pan Pans has been hard enough, but to make the decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games has been very difficult.
“It’s the right decision long-term though, because the sooner I can get the shoulder looked at properly and have the surgery done, the sooner I can get back in the pool, training at 100 per cent,” she said.
The Beijing gold medallist in the 200 and 400m individual medley, and 4x200m freestyle relay will return to Australia next week to have the surgery.