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Australian World Discus Champ Samuels Pulls Out Of CWG

Australia's world discus champion Dani Samuels has delivered a huge blow to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, becoming the first Australian athlete to pull out of next month's event  due to security and health fears.A
PTI September 21, 2010 18:51 IST
PTI
Australia's world discus champion Dani Samuels has delivered a huge blow to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, becoming the first Australian athlete to pull out of next month's event  due to security and health fears.A tearful Samuels, 22, informed Australian team officials of her decision on Tuesday.

The latest incident to strike a blow to the city's preparations to host the Games occurred on Tuesday (local time) when a pedestrian footbridge collapsed near the main Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, injuring several people.

It came two days after two Taiwanese tourists were injured in a shooting at the Jama Masjid mosque.There has also been an outbreak of dengue fever in the Indian capital."Dani is extremely distressed about it all," Samuels' manager Hayden Knowles said.

"The situation in Delhi has been bothering her for some time. But the events over the weekend made it real. She had prepared her whole season around winning this thing, she even knocked back some Diamond League meets because it affected her training.She called me last night and then met with her coach and she couldn't even bring herself to train because she felt so bad.

"Her decision to pull out was a shock to us, but in a way it wasn't that much of a shock because we knew something was wrong. She was hiding it and then it all got too much for her. She was in tears when she told us."

But Samuels' decision to pull out is a much bigger blow, due to her global profile and the reasons for her withdrawal. "She's done her own research, had some sleepless nights and come to her own decision."Samuels won gold at the world titles in Berlin last year with a personal best of 65.44m. he increased that PB to 65.84m early in 2010.