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Discus queen won't go to Beijing

Three time discus world champion Franka Dietzsch has decided not to participate to the Beijing Olympic Games. The 40-year old athlete was one of Germany's top medal hopes but has gone through a recent run of poor form.

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Reigning discus world champion Franka Dietzsch will finish her career without an Olympic gold after withdrawing from the Beijing Games just 12 days before competition starts citing recent poor form as her reason.

"I am crying off. I don't have to hope for a miracle anymore. The Olympics in Beijing will be taking place without me," the 40-year-old told Sunday's edition of German tabloid Bild.

Having won World Championships titles in 1999, 2005 and 2007 in the discus, Dietzsch says she is withdrawing from Beijing for a number of reasons having gone through a recent run of poor form.

"It is because of everything," she said.

"High blood pressure, a problem with my thyroid, with my foot, with my head."

Her personal best throw is 69.51 metres, achieved in May 1999 in Wiesbaden and she won the gold in Osaka last year with her opening effort of 66.61 metres.

At 39, she was the second-oldest athletics world champion in history.

But she says she is currently throwing well below the level needed to compete in Beijing.

She said: "I threw again last week, but where will the throws around the 65 metres mark come from?

"Since the start of the season, I have not been able to reach a performance level which would be acceptable for the Olympics.

"I want to be competitive at Beijing and I can't do that at the moment, on a good day I can throw 60 metres, but that is not happening at the moment.

"I even saw the German team's psychologist as there seems to be something in my head which seems to stop my legs from doing what they need to do.

"Injuries have held me back, I have made no more than 300 throws this year, but in a hard week of training I will make more than 200 throws."

Thomas Bach, president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation, gave Dietzsch a wildcard place in the Germany team for Beijing and the athlete thanked him for his support.

"I am very grateful, but I would not like to read the media reports that I have gone to Beijing as a tourist," she said.

"Last year, I was lifted into the sky as a world champion, it would be hard to take the criticisms."

With the World Athletics Championships set to be held in Berlin in August 2009, Dietzsch says she will wait until next season to see if she can make it her swansong.

"I am disappointed and must see whether I go to 2009 only as part of a farewell tour, my health will decide," she said.

"I would love to throw really well and win another medal at Berlin's Olympic Stadium."

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