Australian Ash Moloney has made the difficult decision to retire in the middle of the decathlon at the World Championships after an excruciating knee injury that has become too much.
The Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist struggled with patellar tendinitis in both knees for most of the year, but was still hopeful that he could make it through the 10 grueling event competition in Eugene.
Moloney managed to finish the seventh event, the discus, on Sunday before reluctantly retiring while finishing eighth in the overall standings.
This was the first time he had failed to finish deca.
The next event was the pole vault, and it’s always been a tough decathlon regimen.
“I’ve been in pain for a long time and don’t know if I’ve used up all my luck,” said the 22-year-old.
“We’ve now reached the point where my body feels like, ‘Just stop’.
“I was struggling to put my feet up…and I started to feel like I couldn’t run properly.
“It was not worth killing myself in an already fatal accident.”
Moloney had a large ice pack on his right knee on Sunday, but said he was bothered by patellar tendinitis in his left knee, too.
“It’s just the nature of the beast,” said Queenslander, who finished fifth after the opening day of the competition.
“We do 10 events and we have to train hard all the time.
“Sometimes the body just doesn’t cooperate.
“Sometimes you’re not so lucky.”
Despite being in obvious physical distress, Moloney was not prepared to rule out the possibility of recovering in time for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
He said, “I don’t draw a line in the sand until I get there.”
“I’ll let it happen and we’ll see what happens.”
The Commonwealth Decathlon begins on August 4.
With Moloney withdrawing, Cedric Dobler (10th) and Daniel Golubovich (15th) were left to fly the Australian flag.