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ATHLETICS: Nathan Douglas's Olympic dream in tatters
9:20am Thursday 21st June 2012 in Olympics
Nathan Douglas’s Olympic dream looks all over.
The Oxford triple-jumper has failed to recover from a tendon injury picked up at the end of May that will rule him out of this weekend’s 2012 Aviva Olympic Trials at Birmingham.
And the 29-year-old admits that he is facing up to the painful reality that he will not be able to compete at London 2012 either.
It is a massive blow for Douglas – and also for Oxfordshire sport, coming just 24 hours after 1,500m hope Hannah England revealed she will miss the trials, and must now sweat on being chosen as the ‘wildcard’ selection if she is to race in the Olympics.
Ironically, both picked up their injuries in the same event – the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo, Holland on May 27.
Douglas was making his first appearance in a competitive event since rupturing his ankle ligaments in a freak training incident on June 20, 2011.
But he could manage only one jump, before his injury – a ruptured tendon on top of a hamstring – forced him out.
And after losing his race against time to be fit for Birmingham, Douglas has accepted an Olympic place is now probably out of the question.
“The reality is that my chances are extremely slim,” he told the Oxford Mail last night.
“I hold about a one per cent chance of making it – I can’t compete at the weekend, but have a week in between and just have to hope that it feels much better.
“I know that’s very unlikely, but while there’s a chance – and I know it’s a very slim one – I have to keep positive.”
Douglas has been hit hard by injuries over the past few years, but is determined to try and get back into competitive action.
“It’s been a bad few years for me – a very testing time indeed,” he admitted.
“This year more so really as having the Olympics in your own country, that’s what every athlete dreams of.
“It’s heart-breaking, to be honest, and I am now back home in Oxford to be with my friends and family, who as always have been a great support to me.”
He added: “I won’t be stopping though. That’s not me.
“When you pick up an injury, your thought process is very irrational.
“You continually ask yourself ‘Why me?’, and mentally it’s very tough. But luckily for me my strength is that I have always been mentally strong.
“My aim is to get back into training and try and compete again by the end of the season.”
Douglas, however, was keen to stress that an illness to his grandfather meant his injury paled into insignificance.
“My grandad has been very ill and was unconscious,” he said.
“He is in hospital, but is getting better and that is a miracle to me.
“Things like that just put something like my injury into perspective.”