By ITU Media ~ Photo: Mike Heydon
AustraliaÂ has suffered another body blow in the lead up to this week’s ITU World Triathlon Championship Grand Final inÂ LondonÂ with the announcement today thatÂ Felicity AbramÂ has been forced out of the Australian team after being told not to run for five weeks.
Abram, at 28, a veteran of over 10 years on the Australian team, is on crutches with her right foot in a moon boot after MRI scans showed bone stress in both her heels.
It follows last week’s news that Olympic bronze medallistÂ Erin Densham, who needed the advice of her support team and TriathlonÂ AustraliaÂ and succumbing to ongoing medical issues, had withdrawn from the team.
The loss of the experienced Abram and Densham leaves OlympiansÂ Emma MoffattÂ andÂ Emma JacksonÂ and rising starÂ Ashleigh GentleÂ to fly the Aussie flag.
Moffatt is coming off her confidence-boosting win in the Des Moines Triathlon inÂ Iowa, Jackson after her sterling performance in Kitzbuehel to win silver and seventh inÂ HamburgÂ and Gentle who is the highest ranked Australian on seventh place, one ahead of Moffatt on the ITU Rankings.
Gentle has had her best season yet, finishing fourth inÂ Yokohama, fifth inÂ HamburgÂ and ninth in bothÂ San DiegoÂ and Kitzbuehel.
TriathlonÂ Australia’s Performance DirectorÂ Bernard SavageÂ said it was important for Abram to head home toÂ AustraliaÂ for a full assessment.
â€œFelicity and I have spoken about what we think is best for her and she agrees that time back inÂ AustraliaÂ will be the best tonic,â€ said Savage.
â€œIt is very disappointing for her and the team as she had put together some good races, particularly her season opening third inÂ AucklandÂ and an encouraging fifth inÂ Madrid.
â€œShe will still be inÂ LondonÂ to cheer on the team and that’s important.â€
Abram, sitting in 10th place on the ITU World Rankings after an eye-catching season, has revealed that an MRI finally provided her with answers to her on-going foot pains that has forced her to curtail her preparations in recent weeks and forced her withdrawal fromÂ Stockholm.
The MRI showed the English-based QueenslanderÂ was suffering from bone stress to both her Calcaneous or heel bones and doctors have told her she won’t be able to run for five weeks.
â€œSadly my season is over now. It’s far from the best diagnoses but finally (I have) some answers and actually a relief that I wasn’t going insane,â€ Abram said on her website.
â€œTo say I’m gutted to have to missed the Grand Final is an understatement.Â LondonÂ has been my goal for a very long time.
â€œPrimarily because it’s our Commonwealth Games selection race. Up until a week ago I was quite optimistic that I could still race the swim /bike and just not be run fit, although after another trial jog I got more and more disheartened and sought the scans.
â€œHowever I will be going to cheer on the team, my training mates & my mum Louisa who is racing the Age Group Sprint race.
â€œAlthough I quite possibly call Yorkshire home at the moment, Â I might be lacking in some much needed Vitamin D right now so I’ll probably head home back to Australia for a good while,
â€œI hope to be backÂ and in form for next year. But for the moment I must heal my heels.â€
MEMO MEDIA:Â Bernard SavageÂ will be available for commentÂ onÂ Australia’s preparations forÂ London. Please sendÂ all inquiries toÂ Ian Hanson(Media Manager, TriathlonÂ AustraliaÂ [email protected];)
Australian Elite Triathlon TeamÂ 2013 ITUÂ LondonÂ World Triathlon Championships,Â London, September 11-15
Ashleigh Gentle (QLD)
Emma Moffatt (QLD)
Emma Jackson (QLD)
Aaron Royle (NSW)
Ryan Bailie (NSW)
Cameron Good (NSW)
Dan Wilson (QLD)
Australian Under 23 Triathlon Team –Â 2013 ITUÂ LondonÂ World Triathlon Championships
Under 23 Women:
Natalie van Coevorden (NSW)
Charlotte McShane (NSW)
Tamsyn Moana-Veale (NSW)
Grace Musgrove (NationalÂ TalentÂ Academy, NSW)
Under 23 Men:
Declan Wilson (NationalÂ TalentÂ Academy, ACT)
Ryan Fisher (QAS, QLD)
Matt Brown (QAS, QLD)
Australian Junior Triathlon Team – 2013 ITUÂ LondonÂ World Triathlon Championships
Jodie Duff (NationalÂ TalentÂ Academy, QLD)
Holly Grice (QLD)
Jaz Hedgeland (National Talent Academy,Â WA)
Sophie Malowiecki (National Talent Academy QLD)
Jacob Birtwhistle (NationalÂ TalentÂ Academy, TAS)
Joel Tobin-White (VIS, VIC)
Luke Willian (QAS, QLD)
Matt Baker (NationalÂ TalentÂ Academy, NSW)