Coach defends Samuels’ decision to withdraw from Delhi CWG

Sunday, October 3, 2010

SYDNEY - Defending Dani Samuels decision to withdraw from the Delhi Commonwealth Games, the coach of Australia’s world discus champion, has described as ‘misrepresentation and propaganda’ in stories that have circulated in India since she withdrew from the Games.

Indian media have quoted medal hope Krishna Poonia blaming Samuels’ decision on “poor form”, and another story said she had competed only twice this year.

“I don’t want to point the finger at anyone in particular but a few things need to be clarified,” said Denis Knowles, who has trained Samuels since she was 10.

“To say Dani has only competed twice this year is wrong. From February through to the All Stars meet in Sydney two weeks ago she competed on 13 occasions and she travelled over a total of 100,000 kilometres to do so.

“Last year she was averaging 61.5 metres and this season our average has been 63.13m with a season best of 65.84m,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Knowles, as saying.

Poonia did not criticise Samuels for withdrawing, but speculated performance might have been the cause.

Knowles said Samuels did not fear any rival. Her honesty in saying she did not want to go to Delhi due to safety and health concerns spoke volumes for her credibility. (ANI)

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