Freeman withdraws from French meet - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Freeman withdraws from French meet

By Guy Hand 12/06/2003 06:13:35 PM Comments (0)

Olympic 400m champion Cathy Freeman has pulled out of a meet in France this weekend.

Freeman was due to run in Lille on Sunday, but has decided to delay the start of her build-up to the world championships in Paris from August 23-31.

"She was pencilled in to run in Lille, but she's trying to get some more training done so she's pulled out of the meet," Australian track and field head coach Keith Connor said.

Freeman, 30, is on the comeback trail after a two-year break from athletics following her Sydney Olympics victory and her split with husband Sandy Bodecker earlier this year.

In her past two outings, Freeman has had her colours lowered by the world's leading 400m runner, Mexican Ana Guevara.

Guevara upstaged Freeman in a 300m race in Mexico City before relegating the Australian to her worst 400m placing in more than a decade in Freeman's first solo 400m since winning in Sydney.

Freeman is now expected to start her world titles build-up in Poznan, Poland on June 29.

She is also scheduled to compete in the 400m at the Norwich Union Classic in Gateshead, England, on July 13.

Meanwhile, controversial athlete Daniel Batman has been cleared to compete in the world championships.

The Australian 400m runner had been locked in a disciplinary dispute with Athletics Australia.

Batman, 22, had called head coach Connor an idiot for not giving him an exemption from competing at the recent national titles, then failed to attend the medal ceremony after finishing second to Clinton Hill.

But Connor confirmed Batman had apologised to him, accepted a $5,000 fine and had agreed to apologise to athletes affected by his no-show at the medal ceremony, including Hill.

He also said Batman had contacted Hill's coach Michael Khmel and asked to train with his squad.

"I know I've received an apology from Daniel and I know he's going to be training with Michael Khmel and Clinton Hill soon so I'd assume he'd apologise to those guys," Connor said.

"He's in very good shape and he's motivated.

"Daniel's making a sensible decision and training with some people who are doing some serious training."

Batman, who has been training on the Gold Coast, will run the 400m at the world championships.

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