Spain's injured triathlon world champ out of Rio

MADRID • Spain's world and European triathlon champion Javier Gomez Noya pulled out of next month's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro yesterday, after fracturing his left arm in a cycle accident.

The only triathlete to win five world titles, he was among the favourites to clinch gold at this year's Olympics after claiming silver in London in 2012.

"Unfortunately this has forced me to pull out of competing in Rio. I need to be realistic, there is no time to prepare and to be fit," the 33-year-old said on the Spanish Olympic Committee's Twitter account. "It's the hardest moment of my sporting life."

He was due to compete in a stage of the world series in Hamburg this week to prepare for Rio.

"The only thing left now is to take on board what's happened and to make a quick recovery," he added.

He was world champion in 2008, 2010, 2013-15 and took his fourth European title in Lisbon in May.

He won the Olympic trial event in Copacabana in August last year.

Meanwhile, the Cuban men's volleyball team will compete in Rio despite the detention of six of their players in Finland over a suspected aggravated rape.

"After not qualifying in volleyball for 16 years, we had 18 athletes in our pre-selection and we are going to be there with 12 in the Olympic Games," Jose Antonio Miranda, an official at the National Sports Institute, was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Police detained eight players earlier this month in the Finnish city of Tampere, where the Cuban team were playing in a World League tournament.

The suspected rape occurred at the hotel where the team were staying. Two of the men were then released and are no longer suspects. The other six will remain in custody while the investigation continues.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2016, with the headline 'Spain's injured triathlon world champ out of Rio'. Print Edition | Subscribe