WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Double Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams will not defend her world athletics championships title in Beijing later this month as she recovers from elbow and shoulder surgery, the New Zealander said on Thursday.
The 30-year-old underwent surgery on her right elbow and left shoulder last September and while she had returned to competition in Europe this year, her performances were below her best.
“I want to inform you all that I won’t be attending the world championships in Beijing,” Adams wrote on her Instagram account on Thursday. “I have thought about this long and hard and know it’s the right thing to do.”
Germany’s Christina Schwanitz has dominated the women’s shot this season having all but wrapped up the Diamond Race in the event and ended Adams’ five-year, 56-competition unbeaten streak in Paris in July.
Adams, who had won the past four world championship titles, has a best throw of 18.79 metres in competition this season, well below her personal best of the 21.24 that she threw in Daegu in 2011.
“Deep down this is not easy but I‘m a realist and know I‘m not ready just yet and I still have stuff to work and it’s been a challenge since my surgery on my elbow especially as it is taking more time then I thought it would,” she added.
“But that’s life and I must roll with the punches.”
Adams added she was also having some issues with her right knee that would need treatment and was now going to focus on ensuring she was fit to defend her Olympic title at next year’s Rio Games.
“This has been a tough comeback but I‘m glad I made an attempt this season as it has just boosted my motivation more for the Olympics which has always been the main focus,” she said.
“No one said it would be easy but I‘m a willing participant and will continue to fight and work towards defending my title in Rio 2016.”
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; editing by Toby Davis