British tennis player Bloomfield to skip CWG due to injury

Bloomfield, rated as England's fifth-best tennis player, opted out of the quadrennial event yesterday, after failing to regain full fitness from a long-term back problem which he aggravated during a tournament in France earlier this month.

Josh Goodall will replace the 302nd ranked Bloomfield in the Delhi-bound England tennis squad, which also has Sarah Borwell, Ross Hutchins, Katie O'Brien, Ken Skupski, Anna Smith and James Ward.

"I'm so disappointed to miss out on the Commonwealth Games. I was really looking forward to representing my country, particularly given this is the first time tennis has been part of the Games. "But I've been advised that my back injury will take another two or three weeks to heal, so the event has unfortunately come just that bit too soon," Bloomfield said in a British Lawn Tennis Association statement.

After his inclusion, Goodall, said "I'm so excited to have been selected. It's always the greatest honor to represent your country and I can't wait to get out there. "The Commonwealth Games are such a huge deal within world sport and to have the opportunity to compete at a major multi-sport event and be in the company of some of the biggest names in sport is a fantastic opportunity for me."

England's Commonwealth Games tennis team captain, Paul Hutchins, said inspite of leading a depleted squad, he was hopeful of a good performance in the October 3-14 Delhi Games.

"I know how excited Richard (Bloomfield) was about taking part in the Commonwealth Games, but he has to listen to medical advice. We still have a strong team and we are all looking forward to what I hope will be a successful tournament, and a memorable experience," he said.

Bloomfield is the eighth British athlete to have pulled out of the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Earlier, world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu, 1,500m defending champion Lisa Dobriskey and Christine Ohuruogu opted out of the Games for varied reasons.

If that was not enough, four British cyclists -- Geraint Thomas of Wales, Peter Kennaugh of the Isle of Man, and Ian Stannard and Ben Swift of England -- have also decided against travelling to Delhi, citing fears over sanitation at the much-criticised Games Village and safety issues.

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