Melbourne: Australian world indoor long jump champion Fabrice Lapierre on Sunday made up his mind to take part in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi after initial reluctance to travel to India.
The 26-year-old Lapierre had said after Diamond League circuit event in London on Saturday that he was in two minds about whether to go to India as October is his lay-off time and he was concerned of security situation and infrastructure problems.
However, he has now made up his mind and reassured Athletics Australia High Performance Manager Eric Hollingsworth that he will line up on the sub-continent.
“The comments I made in London came across much stronger than I intended,” Lapierre said in a statement released on Sunday.
“The timing of the Games is not ideal, but the call up to compete for Australia is most important and I’ll be in India doing my best for my country,” Lapierre said.
Lapierre had said in London that he won’t be at his best to compete against the likes of South African Olympic silver medallist Godfrey Khotso Mokoena and compatriot Australian Mitchell Watt at the end of a grueling Diamond League circuit.
“It is in October which is a really bad time of the year for me and I am tempted to pull out because I don’t know how well I will be jumping in October,” he said after finishing sixth in the Diamond League meet in London.
Hollingsworth is also confident that Lapierre will join more than 70 athletics team mates in India.
“I have spoken with Lapierre this afternoon and he is unequivocal in his plan to compete in New Delhi,” Hollingsworth said.
Lapierre is one of Australia’s strongest contenders for a medal at the Games.
Lapierre won gold at the IAAF world indoor championships in March before becoming the Australian champion with a wind assisted 8.78m leap in Perth in April.