Discus thrower Samuels regret
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Discus thrower Samuels may regret CWG pull-out, says Oz champion pole vaulter Hooker
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Discus thrower Samuels may regret CWG pull-out, says Oz champion pole vaulter Hooker

World and Olympic pole vault champion Steve Hooker hopes discus thrower Dani Samuels doesnt regret her decision to stay away from the Delhi Commonwealth Games, which open on Sunday.


New Delhi, Oct.1 : World and Olympic pole vault champion Steve Hooker hopes discus thrower Dani Samuels doesn't regret her decision to stay away from the Delhi Commonwealth Games, which open on Sunday.

Hooker arrived in Delhi late last night along with 25 members of the 72-strong Australian athletics team, who had been in a training camp at Gateshead in northern England following the end of the European summer season.

Samuels, 22, who won gold at last year's IAAF world championships in Berlin, decided last week not to travel to India because of security and health issues.

Hooker said the loss of Samuels would be felt acutely - starting with Australia's medal tally.

"Dani is a vital member of our team. So it's definitely a medal that we lose - she was almost certain to win here," the Herald Sun quoted the 28-year-old, as saying.

He added: "So, from the performance perspective, that's disappointing. She's also one of the senior members of our team and a real leader. So it's also a loss from that point of view, but that gives other people the opportunity to stand up and probably offers a bit more spotlight to other athletes on the team."

Hooker acknowledged the freedom of choice available to every athlete but also questioned whether Samuels in particular might regret her move.

"It's up to everyone to make their own decision about whether they're going to attend or not. And I totally respect Dani's decision to not come. But whether that's a decision she'll regret in the future or not, that's something she's got to deal with herself," he said.

Hooker admitted the shooting of two Taiwanese tourists in Delhi 10 days ago had unnerved his teammates.

"I think early on when the shootings happened, people had a few concerns. But I think being in a group like that we got it all out in the open and everyone talked about whatever concerns they had, which were minor if anything," he said.

"We've moved on from that and now everyone's at a point where they're very excited to be here. We're ready to compete."

ANI

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