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Harry AA to miss European Juniors

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Harry Aikines-Aryeetey

World Junior and Youth 100m champion Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Sutton and District AC) is recovering well from a back injury – but not quickly enough to bid for his third major title in successive years at this summer’s European Junior Championships.


The news was announced as hundreds of athletes prepared for the Norwich Union England Athletics Under 23 & Under 20 Championships, incorporating European Trials, at Bedford this weekend (23-24 June).


His coach Matt Favier, the UK Athletics Performance Manager for London, said Aikines-Aryeetey is unlikely to be fit for the European Junior Championships in Hengelo, Netherlands, on 19-22 July despite improvements to the stress fracture in his back.


“Harry is going well with his cross training and rehabilitation. The nature of his injury appears to be healing well and the medical team remain positive about his return to full training for 2007-2008.


“He is not likely to be racing this year, given the nature of the injury and the timing of it. It is more important that he enables the fracture to heal fully so that his longer-term career is not compromised.”


Favier stressed the importance of taking a long-term approach when dealing with injuries to young athletes and of Aikines-Aryeetey working closely with the medical team to look ahead and concentrate on his future.


“Harry is incredibly frustrated and disappointed that he will not be in a position to race this year and be able to improve on his results from 2005, when he became the first sprinter to win both the 100m and 200m at World Youth Championships, and 2006, when he won the World Juniors 100m in Beijing.


“However he recognises that in order for him to be in a position to go back to Beijing with Team GB for the individual 100m at the 2008 Olympic Games – and be competitive at those Games – it is important that he follow the advice of the medical team.”


Favier added: “Harry will be moving from London to the UKA High Performance Athletics Centre (HiPAC) Loughborough to train with Michael Khmel, who has played an advisory role to Harry’s progression to date as has Tony Lester. The move will occur in time for Harry to begin his preparation for 2007-2008.


“This move has been planned for some time, and has my full support. I will continue to play a support role with Harry and my wish for him is that he be able to maximise his talent and realise his potential, which is to win an Olympic gold medal in the men’s 100m.”