Sydney: Triple Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice has pulled out of this year`s Commonwealth Games to have shoulder surgery in the hope of being fit enough to compete at the 2012 London Games.
Australian Rice has struggled with her right shoulder since March and decided to withdraw from the Oct. 3-14 Commonwealth Games in India after consulting with her coach Michael Bohl.
"It`s a huge disappointment for me," an emotional Rice told reporters at the Pan Pacific Championships on Thursday. "I would have loved to have been there, especially because it (the Games) only comes around once every four years.”
"But I really have to think about the bigger picture and that`s definitely London 2012 and I want to be able to get myself in the right shape and not have any problems, touch wood, heading into 2012."
Rice, 22, won both individual medleys at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was part of Australia`s victorious 4x200 freestyle team.