Defending champion Thiam set to miss European Indoors

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Nafi Thiam jumping at the Paris round of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League. Photo: Matthew Quine

Olympic, world and European champion Nafi Thiam looks set to miss the European Indoor Championships through injury.

It means the Belgian won’t be able to defend the title she won in Belgrade in 2017.

Thiam is said to have torn a muscle in her leg during training in South Africa and her coach has told local media that she’s likely to miss six weeks of competition.

Roger Lespagnard says a week ago she complained of “big calf pain”, before tests revealed the tear.

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The 24-year-old is now understood to have returned home on Sunday to continue her recovery, with Lespagnard keen not to “take the slightest risk”.

Her coach also thinks it is possible that Thiam’s participation at the annual multi-event meeting in Götzis on 25th and 26th May could be affected.

The Rio 2016 winner holds the record score of 7013 points for the well-known specialist tournament putting her third on the all-time list. She’s just 19 behind the area record of Sweden’s Carolina Kluft and trails USA’s Jackie Joyner-Kersee by 278.

Kluft and Jessica Ennis-Hill are the only other women to have won the major trio of Olympic, world and European gold medals.

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Fortunately for Nafi Thiam, the worlds, which are the biggest competition of the year, aren’t being held in Doha until the autumn.

She has looked like the one to beat since stealing Olympic glory from Ennis-Hill with supreme strength and power leading her to personal best after personal best

Without her at the European Indoors in Glasgow, Katarina Johnson-Thompson could have a big opportunity to add that title to the World Indoor crown she took in Birmingham last spring.

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