Birchfield Harrier Tom Parsons has been forced to withdraw from making his debut at the Norwich Union Grand Prix at the National Indoor Arena this Saturday.
At last weekend's trials in Sheffield, the high-jumper was hoping to gain the necessary selection standard for next month's World Indoor Championships in Valencia. But, after suffering a low-grade oblique strain, the 23-year-old struggled to match the form he had shown in training.
"I entered the trials having been able to do only a light week of training but, as the competition progressed, my jumping was getting worse and worse and it felt like I was being punched," Parsons said.
"I have been jumping 2.24 metres in training and had also nearly cleared 2.27m, but I was just unable to get out of third gear. It's disappointing because I was in really good form and was extremely confident ahead of the competition.
"But it could have been worse, it could have been before the Olympic Games in the summer. If I am unable to fit in another competition before the World Indoor Championships, then I will just return to training and put in some hard graft.
"I was looking forward to competing at my first Norwich Union Grand Prix because it's a great event, but at least I have the Norwich Union Trials in Birmingham to look forward to in the summer because I want to compete in front of my home crowd."
Parsons ended the world trials and UK Championships in second place with a jump of 2.19m, while Belgrave Harrier Samson Oni cleared a lifetime best of 2.30m, which guaranteed him a trip to Valencia.
"I was so pleased for Samson, he thoroughly deserved that result," Parsons said. "Everyone has known about his potential for years but, unfortunately, he has suffered a few injuries. I am really happy for him to finally be achieving the sort of results we've all known he's been capable of. I wish him the best of luck."
Oni's success has resulted in his being added to an already star-studded start list for the Grand Prix on Saturday when he will compete against the reigning Olympic champion, Stefan Holm.
* Tickets for the Norwich Union Grand Prix at the National Indoor Arena on Saturday are available by telephone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.ukathletics.net