hackett to miss melbourne

Australia’s Olympic and world swimming champion Grant Hackett is pulling out of next year’s Commonwealth Games. Hackett will formally announce his withdrawal at a news conference later today his manager Brian Taylor told Australian television.
A reason for the withdrawal has not been made public but it is widely known that he has been troubled by a shoulder injury for the past year and had hinted he might take time off training to recharge his batteries ahead of the Beijing Olympics, in the same way teammate Ian Thorpe has spent much of 2005 out of the water.
“Grant’s pulling out of the Commonwealth Games,” Taylor said. “It was a very tough decision for him … but this is only a minor hiccup. His ultimate aim remains Beijing.”
Hackett was considered a near-certainty to win the 1500 metres freestyle gold medal in Melbourne in March. His absence will open the door for Welsh distance ace David DAvies to take his first major international title.