Lapierre tempted to skip Commonwealth Games

Updated: Aug 15, 2010, 12:19 PM IST

Melbourne: Australian world indoor long jump
champion Fabrice Lapierre may soon become another top athlete
to give the October 3-14 Commonwealth Games a miss.

The 26-year-old Lapierre is still in two minds whether to
tour India in October as it is his lay-off time and also news
of the security situation and infrastructure problems plaguing
the Delhi Games is making things worse for him.

"It`s a bit of everything. I hear a lot about the
security and in October that is normally my lay-off time so I
sort of don`t want to really jump in October as well. It`s
everything rolled into one really," was quoted as saying.

Lapierre feels 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 finising
sixth in the Diamond League meet in London.

"I probably won`t be jumping that well or at my best and
my main competition, they have not really jumped yet and I
think they are trying to peak for these Commonwealth Games.”

"I am not going to be in peak condition and obviously
that is going to be a factor," he added.

Lapierre, who is placed third in the 2010 world rankings,
said he is still wrestling with the decision because on one
hand it is also an honour to represent Australia as one of the
favourites for the Games.

"I don`t want to go to Delhi but I want to jump, so we
will see what happens," he said.

"It is a bit of honour and I can`t really pull out
because I am one of the favourites. Hopefully, I can keep my
form and jump alright," he added.

Some of the top athletes to pull out of the Commonwealth
Games, include triple Olympic champion sprinter Usian Bolt,
tennis player Samantha Stosur, reigning world and European
heptathlon champion Ennis, World-class Canadian 100m hurdlers
Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and Perdita Felicien.

Besides, Australian tennis star Lleyton Hewitt, Scotsman
Chris Hoy, a multiple Olympic gold medalist in cycling and
Shelly Ann Fraser, the Olympic 100 metres champion have also
decided to skip the Delhi Games.

PTI