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South African 800m champion Mulaudzi out of Games

Written by: Staff

MELBOURNE, Mar 16 (Reuters) South African middle-distance runner Mbulaeni Mulaudzi is out of the Commonwealth Games with an ankle injury and will be unable to defend his 800 metres title, team officials said today.

Team doctor Harold Adams said the Manchester 2002 gold medallist had suffered a bad cut on his left ankle when he was ''spiked'' by an opponent during the world indoor championships in Moscow at the weekend.

''The underlying tendons, ligaments and bones were not involved,'' Adams said in a statement.

''He needed three stitches and there is quite a lot of swelling and because of that swelling his range of movement in that ankle is pretty limited,'' he said.

His injury is a major blow to the South Africans.

''We'd already put his name next to a gold medal,'' South African chef-de-mission Gideon Sam said.

Mulaudzi took silver behind Kenya's Wilfred Bungei in Moscow and later said his injury happened during jostling for the front in the first 150 metres of Sunday's race.

Mulaudzi had been set to carry the flag for South Africa at Wednesday's opening ceremony.

The men's 800 metres heats begin on March 21 with the final two days later.

Reuters PDS DB1832

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