Olympic dream appears over for Pittman - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Olympic dream appears over for Pittman

By Sharon Mathieson 07/08/2004 08:07:29 PM Comments (0)

Jana Pittman's Olympic campaign is almost certainly over.

The world champion hurdler has virtually accepted the fact she won't be competing in Athens but will make a last-minute dash to London for a second medical opinion in case there's any hope she can cling to her Olympic dream.

Pittman tore the lateral meniscus in her right knee in a freak accident during the warm up for the 400 metres hurdles at the prestigious Zurich Golden League, her last competition before the Olympic Games.

She was rushed to hospital for x-rays and a MRI scan of her knee which revealed the damage.

An orthopaedic surgeon described Pittman's injury as a complicated tear and it seemed likely she would need arthroscopic surgery, although a decision will be delayed until after she heads to London for a second opinion.

Asked if it was unlikely she would compete in Athens, Pittman's coach Phil King replied: "Yes, it is."

He said Pittman was holding up as best she could given the circumstances and every possible thing would be done to give her a fighting chance.

"We'll do whatever it takes to give Jana every possible chance of recovering from this setback," King said.

Even if Pittman receives more positive news in England, the 21-year-old faces a desperate race against time, with the first round of her event on August 21, just two weeks away.

She was the closest thing Australia had to a medal certainty in the showpiece sport of the Olympic Games, and given the relatively slow times her rivals ran in Zurich, Pittman looked a sure thing to add the Olympic crown to her world championship title.

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