Two-time 400 metres hurdles world champion Jana Pittman-Rawlinson will not defend her title at next month's World Championships in Berlin after succumbing to a back-related injury. Pittman-Rawlinson has only raced twice since returning to the track last month after a year-long lay-off due to complications from a serious toe injury which forced her out of the Beijing Olympics. The 26-year-old pulled up with hamstring soreness after last week's meeting in Lucerne and the problem was recently diagnosed as neural, caused by a bulging disc in her back.
The injury has restricted the dual world champion at training, and with just three weeks until the championships, Pittman-Rawlinson believes she will not be at her best. "Unfortunately the injury to my back has meant I haven't been able to train properly for six weeks and despite intensive treatment, it is still causing me a lot of pain and hampering my running," said Pittman-Rawlinson from her base in London. "When I compete I want to do both myself and my country justice by competing at a world standard, but sadly this won't be the case at the upcoming World Championships. "I will now continue treatment over the next few weeks before I head back to Australia, where I hope I can recover from this latest setback and get back on track for my long term goal and dream winning Olympic Gold in London." * PA Sport