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Wednesday July 9, 2008

Heart condition ruins Pechenkina’s Olympics hopes

MOSCOW: Former women's 400m hurdles world champion and current world record holder Yulia Pechenkina will miss the Beijing Olympics because of a heart condition, Russian athletics head coach Valentin Maslakov said yesterday.

“Yulia (Pechenkina) has suffered heart problems since the beginning of April,” Maslakov said. “She first had sinusitis, then, which is much more serious, heart problems.

“Numerous medical tests gave no clear results. We still don't know the reason for her problems. I don't believe any more that she can prepare for the Olympic Games in Beijing.”

“Yulia is very upset as these problems could force her to end her career.”

Pechenkina, who won the world championship in Helsinki, Finland, in 2005, was second at the 2007 world championships in Osaka, Japan.

She currently holds the world record over 400m hurdles with a time of 52.34 set at the Russian national championships at Tula on August 8, 2003 beating American Kim Batten's eight-year-old mark of 52.61.– AFP

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