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Long jumper Watt out of world championships

Australia's Mitchell Watt competes in the men's long jump final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 4, 2012. REUT
Australia's Mitchell Watt competes in the men's long jump final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 4, 2012. REUT

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Olympic long jump silver medalist Mitchell Watt is to miss this year's world championships in Russia after a season interrupted by injury, the Australian said on Tuesday.

Former world number one Watt, who was runner-up to Briton Greg Rutherford at the London Games, said he would not be able to compete at his full potential in Moscow in August and needed more time to get back to full fitness.

"I have been battling ankle and Achilles pain across my early season and this has caused continued trouble for me in practice and competition," the 25-year-old said in a news release.

"I'm not someone that just wants to show up at an event and given these circumstances I will not be 100 percent competitive this season and need more time to overcome the issue," added Watt, who also won silver and bronze medals at the 2011 and 2009 world championships.

Watt will remain in Australia to continue his recovery and had targeted 2014 for his return to major competition.

"I'm only 25 and I have already been fortunate enough to win four major championship medals but this was a very tough call," he said of missing the August 10-18 championships.

"That said, we made the same decision in 2010 when I didn't compete at the World Indoors and I went on to jump an Australian and Oceania record later in that season.

"I'm already looking forward to being pain free and ready for the World Indoors early next year and the Commonwealth Games as well."

(Writing by Peter Rutherford in Singapore, Editing by Ian Ransom)

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