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Kluft to skip Olympic heptathlon

19 March 2008
bbc.co.uk

Carolina Kluft Carolina Kluft
Olympic heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft will not defend her title at the Beijing Games this year.

The 25-year-old has chosen to contest the long jump and triple jump instead, boosting hopes for British heptathletes Kelly Sotherton and Jessica Ennis.

"A lot of people will not understand my choice and there will be questions but my motivation is not enough for the heptathlon," she said

"It takes 1000% commitment. For two years I've not had the same hunger."

Swedish Athletics Federation spokesman, Fredrik Trahn, added: "Carolina hasn't said she has quit the heptathlon for good and may return at some time in the future.

"She has no competitions lined up in the foreseeable future. Now she will concentrate on the long jump and triple jumps.

"She has lost 100% focus and spirit for the event but I am sure she will return to it when getting her motivation back."

Kluft raised doubts about her multi-eventing future at the start of the indoor season and then pulled out of the pentathlon at the World Indoor Championships with a hamstring injury.

The Swede has lifted every major multi-event title since winning the World Championship gold medal in 2003.

Sotherton finished in bronze position behind Kluft at last year's world championships, with Ennis missing out on a medal by 41 points.

Speaking earlier in the season Ennis said: "Even though Carolina had said that she might not compete in the heptathlon in Beijing, I am going to focus my mind on her being there.

"If she does not do it, it will change the whole perspective of the event. She is one of the greatest of all time."

"I am not sure it means I can start thinking about gold.

"There are a great deal of good athletes out there and gold is probably a bit too far out of my reach. I am not going to be thinking like that."



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