Top England athletes pull out of Commonwealth Games

Australian world champion discus thrower Dani Samuels yesterday pulled out of the controversy-marred Games citing health and security concerns following Sunday's gun attack on two foreign tourists and the recent outbreak of dengue fever in the Indian capital.

Two other high-profile English athletes -- Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu and 2006 Melbourne Games gold medallist 1500m runner Lisa Dobriskey -- had also withdrawn from the Games though their pull out was not related to security but due to injuries.

31-year-old Idowu, who won gold in 2006 Melbourne Games, said in his Twitter page that he is withdrawing from the event after hearing news of unhygienic conditions (at the Games Village) and collapse of a footbridge near the main venue of the Games.
"All the press today about bridges collapsing and 23+ people being hurt, floods and uninhabitable living conditions, getting my daughter ready for school this morning and seeing all of that put me off.

"I can't afford to risk my safety in the slightest. Sorry people, but I have children to think about. My safety is more important to them than a medal," he tweeted.
"I understand people will be disappointed that I will not be competing. I am disappointed. These games mean a lot to me. It's the champs in which I won my 1st medal. And four years ago won my 1st gold, which kicked off the success I have in my career to date," said Idowu.

Ohuruogu suffered a cramp during a training session last weekend and she does not want to take risk as she has not fully recovered from her quad injury she suffered in June.

"I am disappointed to miss the Commonwealth Games after working so hard to get fit since my quad injury in June. However, with the 2012 Olympic Games on the horizon the last thing an athlete wants to do is risk re-injury to the same muscle," the 26-year-old said.

"It was very important for me to be cautious in dealing with my previous injury, and although training was progressing well, intense competition over three days may prove to be more harmful than good and may compromise the long-term functioning of the muscle.

"With three rounds in the 400m in Delhi I would need to be close to my best to win the gold. I had already picked up my team kit and was getting ready to go to the preparation camp in Doha. Instead I will have a short break now and resume winter training in October to get ready for the 2011 season.

Dobriskey, who claimed the Commonwealth 1,500m title in Melbourne, has been advised to rest and focus on training for next year after an injury-hit season.

"I was really looking forward to competing and I'd worked so hard to get back into shape. I'm really disappointed but I just ran out of time. I want to wish all the best to the athletes out in Delhi," Dobriskey said

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