EUGENE, Oregon (July 11) — Olympic and world 400m champion Steven Gardiner has been forced to withdraw from the World Athletics Championships 2022 because of tendon inflammation, he said on Instagram on Monday (11).
The Bahamian star who has raced sparingly in 2022, was well on course to defend the world title he won in Doha 2019 after making steady progress this term.
However, he revealed on social media that he has suffered an unfortunate setback and will not be able to defend his crown at Hayward Field in Oregon, later this week. Read more: Olympic champion Steven Gardiner runs world 44.22 at LSU Alumni Gold
He wrote on Instagram Monday: “Another global competition but instead of putting on my spikes I’ve been advised to put on a walking boot due to a UTE Tendon Inflammation. Unfortunately, there will be no Eugene ‘22 for me!
“Devastated by the news but I’m thankful for all the blessings in my career so far. 🙏🏽 I am also thankful for my team around me for all the love and support during this process.
“I’ll now move ahead to obtain the necessary treatment so that I can be 100%. To the people of the Bahamas, 🇧🇸 my sponsors, and my fans around the world I’m sorry I won’t be able to compete. I wish my rivals good health and the very best. Thanks for the support,” he added.
Gardiner has won an individual medal in the 400m at the last three major championships. Read more: Wayde van Niekerk runs 44.58 in 400m opener in Atlanta
After grabbing a silver medal in London at the world championships in 2017, the 26-year-old clocked a national record 43.48 seconds to win gold at the world championships three years ago before posting 43.85 seconds to race to the top of the podium again at the Tokyo Olympic Games last summer.
So far this season, he clocked 44.21 seconds, which is No. 5 in the world in 2022.
Michael Norman who ran 43.56 seconds to win the USATF Outdoor Championships last month, leads the world top list ahead of his countryman Champion Allison (43.70) who finished behind him at the trials.
The World Athletics Championships are being hosted in the United States for the first time, and are set to start on Friday.
In adding to Gardiner the championships also saw late withdrawals Olympic women’s marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, who is out with a right hip injury, while Francine Niyonsaba is also out with a foot problem.
“The hip and the whole leg is painful,” Jepchirchir told Kenya’s The Nation.
“I am so disappointed but I would rather not aggravate the injury since we still have another world event next year before my Olympic title defence at the 2024 Paris Games.”