Zagreb – Croatia's two-time world high jump champion Blanka Vlasic said Friday that her withdrawal from competitions this season due to a painful foot would not mean the end of her career.
“I was looking forward to the rest of the season ... but a warning, in a form of pain, was too strong to be ignored,” HINA news agency quoted the 29-year-old as saying.
On Tuesday, Vlasic withdrew from next month's world championships because of the aching foot.
“My 2013 season ended in Monaco”, Vlasic told journalists in her hometown Split, referring to the Diamond League meet on July 19.
She dismissed media speculation that she might end her career, describing such reports as “unfounded.”
“As far as I'm concerned I will still jump for a long time and the end of my carrier is not nearing,” she said, adding that she will dedicate herself to therapy.
“The goal is for me to be in full health within two months, to start intensive preparation for next season when I will be able to compete without pain,” she said.
Vlasic, who missed last year's Olympics because of repercussions from a poorly-performed operation on an ankle, had shown she was returning to form after a 20-month absence with victory in her first event back, the Diamond League meet in New York.
The Croatian won world gold in 2007 and 2009, as well as silver in 2011.
Vlasic's withdrawal further weakens the line-up at the world championships, which gets underway in Moscow on August 10 and has been hit by injuries to stars such as Kenya's 800m Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha, as well as positive dope tests for American 100m runner Tyson Gay and Jamaica's former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell. – Sapa-AFP
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