AUSTRALIA’S pole vault champion Alana Boyd has crashed out of the world indoor championships after injuring her ankle just minutes before the start of the competition.
Boyd sent a scare through the Australian camp when she landed awkwardly during her final warm-up jump and was assisted out of the stadium in Portland, Oregon, via a wheelchair.
A precautionary X-ray immediately afterwards has cleared the national record holder of any serious injury.
Australian head coach Craig Hilliard said the Queenslander is likely to be sidelined for a couple of weeks and is still a chance to compete at next month’s Olympic trials.
“The outcome of this test is that she has a strain to the anterior talofibular ligament in her ankle but there is no break,” Hilliard said.
“Although very disappointed to not compete, this is the best possible outcome in terms of recovery time.”
The 31-year-old was in the form of her life, raising her own Australian record to 4.77m in January and was considered an outside medal chance in Portland.
One of Australia’s best chances of a medal at the indoor championships competes today (Saturday) with long-jumper Brooke Stratton in the gold medal mix after leaping an Australian record 7.05m in Perth last weekend.
Her male compatriot, Fabrice Lapierre, the 2010 world indoor champion, will again start as one of the favourites following the withdrawal of Great Britain’s Olympic and world champion Greg Rutherford.
Lapierre finished second in the long jump behind Rutherford at last year’s world championships in Beijing.