Gymnastics-Douglas ends Paris Olympics bid due to ankle injury

FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Uneven Bars Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 14/08/2016. Gabrielle Douglas (USA) of USA (Gabby Douglas) competes. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - Three-time Olympic gold medallist Gabby Douglas has withdrawn from this weekend's U.S. championships in Texas due to an ankle injury she suffered during training this week, ending her comeback bid to qualify for the Paris Olympics, ESPN reported.

The 2012 all-around and team champion withdrew from the U.S. Classic last week after falling twice from the asymmetric bars, which had left her unable to compete for the all-around title at the U.S. Championships.

"I love this sport and I love pushing my limits," Douglas, 28, told ESPN on Wednesday.

"I hope I can inspire both my peers and the next generation of gymnasts that age is just a number and you can accomplish anything you work hard for."

Douglas had taken time away following the 2016 Rio Games to focus on her mental health and returned to training last year hoping to make the squad for Paris.

She said she intended to continue training in preparation for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, when she will be 32.

"I proved to myself and to the sport that my skills remain at an elite level," Douglas said.

"My plan is to continue to train for the L.A. 2028 Olympics. It would be such an honor to represent the U.S. at a home Olympics."

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; editing by Clare Fallon)

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