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Athletics-Portugal’s Olympic champion Pichardo out of worlds with back injury


BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Portugal’s Olympic triple jump champion Pedro Pichardo will not defend his world title in Hungary because of lower back pain.

The Portuguese federation announced his withdrawal on Thursday, noting the nagging injury had sidelined him from several events this season including the domestic championships.

The 30-year-old Pichardo is the latest reigning champion to pull out of the global showcase event that begins on Saturday.

United States 400 metres hurdles Olympic champion and world record holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone said last week that she would miss the worlds due to a “minor knee issue.”

Her team mate Michael Norman then announced on Tuesday that he will not defend his 400m title after an “extremely frustrating season” of dealing with “setback after setback.” Norman said he would refocus on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

(This story has been refiled to change the day to Thursday in paragraph 2)

(Reporting by Lori Ewing; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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