Ben Rhodes forced to pull out of Perth Championships

BRITISH 49er sailor Ben Rhodes was forced to pull out of the Perth World Championships, along with his partner Stevie Morrison, due to a rib injury.

He strained his rib during the first of their three opening day races and while he was able to complete yesterday’s schedule, he was struggling to breathe and move without pain.

The decision was made because of concerns over his safety in the remaining races and he will now return to the UK for intensive rehabilitation, so he can then get back into training schedule ahead of next year’s Olympic Games

Morrison said: “We’re hugely disappointed not to be able to continue with the event.

“The good news with Ben’s injury is that it’s fixable, it’s just not fixable overnight so the best thing is for him to return back to the UK where he will receive the full infrastructure of support that will get him back in shape.

“We came into the event in good shape, really believing that we were sailing well and our pre-regatta training showed that.

“We were more confident than we’ve probably felt in a couple of years - we have good kit and we’re sailing well together so it feel like a lost opportunity to put that into practice.

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“It’s a setback for sure, but setbacks only make you stronger and in terms of our qualification for the Olympics, we know how competitive we are within the fleet and we’re still the only British 49er crew to have won a medal in Weymouth. That’s what counts in the big picture of 2012.”

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