• European Championships

Meadows' European withdrawal casts Olympic doubt

ESPN staff
June 28, 2012
Jenny Meadows has an Achilles problem © PA Photos

Jenny Meadows' London 2012 dream has been plunged into doubt after she was forced to pull out of the European Championships due to injury.

The 800m runner, who took bronze at the 2009 World Championships, has seen her career heavily restricted by injury. This week's Helsinki event was intended to be the platform on which she announced her return to fitness, but now more frustration will ensue.

Having nursed an Achilles problem that has kept her out of action, Meadows aggravated the problem ahead of Thursday's 800m semi-finals and will not race.

"It has been a battle to get back to full fitness after suffering an Achilles tear earlier this year," Meadows said. "I have never been fitter, having spent all winter training on the bike or the Alter-G (an anti-gravity treadmill) and mentally I was ready to come here and compete for a medal.

"But my injury seems to have reacted badly to the flight and whilst we all genuinely believed I would be ready to get to the start line, this setback means I'm so close yet so far. I know I'm selectable based on my previous seven 'A' standards, but it is no longer in my control."

The Great Britain Olympic squad is announced on Monday, and the UK Athletics selection panel is unlikely to pick any major injury risks. Meadows, based on the last 12 months, certainly falls into that category.

The 31-year-old does remain a consistent performer when she is on the track, and she is boosted by the fact there are still three places available in the squad. That number will reduce to one if Lynsey Sharp and Jemma Simpson record the 'A' standard of 1:59.90s in Helsinki.

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