Swedish triple jumper Olsson quits ahead of London Olympics

Swedish triple jumper Olsson quits ahead of London Olympics
Swedish Olympic gold medalist triple jumper Christian Olsson is abandoning his bid to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the one-time world record holder said as he announced on Monday he was retiring from the sport.

“It’s a damn disappointing for Christian to not be able to fulfill his efforts to compete in the Olympics,” Swedish athletics team trainer Stefan Olsson told the TT news agency.

Having been plagued by injuries since 2007, Olsson re-emerged on the international athletics stage in 2011 with a fifth place finish at the European indoor championships in June. He also placed second in a Diamond League competition in New York.

He also participated in the Athletics World Championships in South Korea, finishing in sixth place.

But last week the Swedish triple jumping star, who claimed a gold in the event at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, was forced to abandon the Swedish athletics team’s training camp in the United States due to recurring problems with his right foot.

Athletics coach Olsson explained that he realized the 32-year-old triple jumper’s career was in jeopardy after he left training so close to the Olympics.

“He was very focused on the Olympics, not to go there and participate, but to give the best jumpers in the world a run for their money,” he told TT.

“He wanted to go there and fight for a medal.”

After making his Olympic triple jumping debut in 2000 in Sydney, Olsson came to dominate the sport. Between 2002 and 2006 he captured six gold medals, including an Olympic gold in Athens in 2004.

Olsson also matched an indoor triple jump record at the 2004 world championships with a jump of 17.83 metres.

But Olsson’s career became plagued by injuries to his right foot starting in 2007, forcing him to miss the 2008 Beijing Olympics and sidelining him from a number of major competitions.

While an operation last autumn had renewed hopes that Olsson would compete in his third Olympics, Monday’s decision means that Sweden will have one less medal hope heading into the London Olympics.

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