GERRARDS Cross golfer Annabel Dimmock was forced to withdraw from the Youth Olympics despite having made the 5,600-mile flight to China.
The 17-year-old pulled out when a back complaint that has been troubling her all summer flared up again.
She said: “It was a really tough decision to withdraw. I sat down with my team leader Becca Wood, chef de mission Sarah Winckless and the physios and we came to a decision based on what would be best for me.
“And while not competing isn’t the decision I wanted it is the right decision. It is really upsetting not being able to compete, but it is the right decision.
“I’ve had the injury for a while and I actually only started being able to hit balls two days before we flew to China.
“We hoped that would have healed enough and I would have been OK for competition but it is a ligament strain and unfortunately it wasn’t going to heal with just rest.
“I need to make a long-term strategy, and once that is in place it should never really come back which is positive.”
Dimmock took the decision with the Rio Olympics at the forefront of her thinking.
She said: “Rio is definitely a realistic aim for me, I am looking to turn pro soon and I think Rio will be a good goal to aim for.
“It is huge that golf is now in the Olympics, the experience I have had in the short time I have been [in China] is going to really help me in the future with my game.
“When I next play in China I will know much more about what to expect with the courses, the people and the culture.”
The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic Values. www.teamgb.com