LONDON – Organizers of next year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India have been hit with another blow following the news that Kelly Sotherton will not defend her heptathlon title.

Sotherton, who won the title when Australia hosted the last Games in Melbourne in 2006, has decided that the timing of the meeting would not suit her.

The Games are due to open on October 3 and Sotherton also believes that fellow Great Britain team mates and world championships gold medallists Phillips Idowu and Jessica Ennis are also set to skip the event.

“A lot of us have been advised not to go,” Sotherton said on Insidethegames.

“If it was a month earlier it would be different, but it affects the following year.

“I’ve already won it.

“Phillips has too and I don’t need to go and prove myself there.”

The absence of such high-profiled athletes would bring further pressure on the organizers who are yet to confirmed the names of some leading athletes from other countries, such as Usain Bolt, Shelly Fraser and Asafa Powell from Jamaica, in addition to the Trinidadians and Bahamians.

Bolt has said it is still too early to make that sort of decision and pointed to his coach Glen Mill to have the final say. Powell, the defending 100m champion is also relying on the decision of his coach Stephen Francis.

By Susan Porter, World-Track

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