Nathan Deakes of Australia celebrates winning the men's 50km Race Walk in Osaka (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Injured Deakes withdraws from Cheboksary

Australia’s World 50km Race Walking champion and World record holder Nathan Deakes has announced his withdrawal from the 23rd IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Cheboksary, Russia, 10-11 May.

Brent Vallance, the Australian Team Manager and Coach for their 2008 World Race Walking Cup Team, informed the IAAF last night (5) that: “Nathan Deakes will have to return to Australia and not take part in the 23rd IAAF World Walking Cup. Nathan has again aggravated an existing injury in the lead up to the event, and will return to Canberra, Australia on Wednesday evening (7).”

The Australian squad is presently in London, UK, prior to their departure for Russia.

However, Vallance was “confident that Nathan will be at his best in August for the 50km in Beijing.”

Deakes' injury is obviously a severe blow to the hopes of what was an exceptionally strong Australian Men's 20km squad for this weekend’s Cup although with athletes of the calibre of Jared Tallent, Luke Adams and Adam Rutter in the line-up they will still field a very competitive team in Cheboksary.

Chris Turner for the IAAF