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Crates Forced To Withdraw

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Danny Crates
Defending Paralympic Champion Now Aiming for 2009



9 September 2008




Danny Crates has suffered a major setback in his final days of preparation and, as a result, has been forced to withdraw from the Paralympic Games in Beijing.


On Sunday, 7 September, Crates undertook a training session where he broke down with a significant tear to his soleus muscle, which was subsequently confirmed by a scan. Having undergone a period of initial injury management it has become obvious that Crates will not be fit to defend his T46 800m Paralympic title.


He had already overcome a number of injury problems this season on his way to Beijing and his performance in two 800m races earlier in August showed his readiness to be competitive at his third Paralympic Games.


Tim Jones, ParalympicsGB Athletics Team Manager said:


“We are desperately disappointed for Danny. Whilst he has faced an uphill battle all year there had been some encouraging recent signs and we all believed he would reach the start line ready to not only compete, but in good shape to defend his Paralympic title. However, this latest setback has forced this decision. We have reluctantly had to admit defeat.”


Danny Crates said: “I’m totally devastated to have got so close and once again suffered a blow that has prevented me from doing something I’ve dreamed about for so long, which is stepping out into the Bird’s Nest stadium and defending my Paralympic title.


“I’d had a tough few months but I really thought I had turned the corner at the beginning of August. Unfortunately, despite some fantastic medical support, I suffered a recurrence of my injury problems in Macau and a further injury since arriving in Beijing. I have always said if I lined up on the start that I wanted to be competing for a medal and not just a participant in the race, which is why I’ve pushed myself in training and sadly it hasn’t paid off.


“Everything possible has been done to get me to the start line ready to be competitive. I have had unbelievable support from UK Athletics, the EIS and ParalympicsGB in the lead up to Beijing and if it weren’t for that support I wouldn’t have got through the last five months.


“As for the future, I’ll go home, recover and start preparing for next year. I’ve always taken my athletics year-by-year while aiming towards the bigger picture.


“I had no intention of retiring before the injury and I’ve no intention of retiring now. I’ll go home, assess what has gone wrong, put it right and work towards my career and there’s no reason that could not include 2012.


“Even though I will not be able to defend my title, the experience of carrying the flag in the opening ceremony is something I will always treasure.”


Phil Lane, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission, said:

“It is a great shame that Danny will not be able to compete in Beijing. He is a valuable member of the team and despite not being able to run, has been an inspiration to our younger athletes as a Paralympic champion and our flag bearer. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back on the track and running for Great Britain.”


For news updates on ParalympicsGB please visit www.paralympics.org.uk