BEIJING, China, January 11. 2004 Olympic breaststroke gold medalist Luo Xuejuan of China has elected to withdraw from this year's World Championships in Melbourne according to Reuters reports out of China.
"Her physical condition is still very unsatisfactory," head coach Zhang Yadong told Beijing Youth Daily of the 100 breast champion, who has battled injury and mental stress over the last year. "She needs rest and cannot start normal training."
There is also the possibility that this illness could end Luo's career, as Zhang has no idea when Luo will next compete.
Another factor in the equation is Leisel Jones' absolute domination of the stroke on the global front. That obstacle proved difficult for Luo to fathom, and Chinese officials gave her two months off to recharge her batteries.