Klüft injury puts Olympic hopes in doubt

Klüft injury puts Olympic hopes in doubt
Swedish long jumper Carolina Klüft has been left with a race to be fit for the London Olympics after pulling out of a meet in Finland on Sunday with a leg injury.

29-year-old Klüft was competing in the long jump in Kurotane when she was forced to abort her first jump after feeling a soreness in the back of her leg.

Her coach Oscar Gidwell told the Aftonbladet daily that the 2004 Olympic heptahlon champion is downbeat about her chances of competing in the games.

“I thought perhaps that it could be sported out in time for the Olympics, but I don’t think Carro is herself thinking along those lines,” he told the newspaper.

Klüft has been battling a stress fracture in her shin and had hoped that the Finnish meet would prove her form for the Olympics, which begin in London on July 27th.

The injury is the latest of a string of setbacks for the Swedish star since she quit the heptathlon in 2008 after dominating the event for the best part of five years.

She won her first major senior title in the 2003 World Championships with 7,001 points, becoming only the third woman ever to break the magic 7,000 point barrier.

While she never managed to claim the world record for herself, she is one of very few athletes to have held all five available international titles – Olympic, World Outdoor, Regional (European) Outdoor, World Indoor and Regional Indoor.

Klüft surprised Swedish athletics when she announced in March 2008 that she was turning her back on the event that had made her a popular world star to focus on the long jump and triple jump.

She has previously indicated that the London Olympics would be her last competition before retiring from athletics.

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