National sprinter Miguel Francis, on a Facebook post Saturday night, confirmed his non-participation in the ongoing Rio Olympics.
The athlete, who is said to be battling a “slight strain” in one of his hamstrings, also reprimanded a section of the public whom he claims is accusing his coach, Glen Mills, of pulling him from the games despite his willingness to run.
Francis, in the post he has apparently since removed from the social media site, said those making the accusations were being “very, very disrespectful” towards Mills and that they should “learn more about the sport” before speaking “nonsense.”
The sprinter, who was set to compete in the 200 meters sprint and is also a key member of the country’s 4X1 relay team, however expressed disappointment in not being able to represent Antigua & Barbuda at his first Olympics.
“I am injured. I will not say what kind of injury or how serious it is, just know that I am not able to run,” he said.
Reports had surfaced last week that Francis would not contest the Olympics owing to injury, but Chef de Mission Neville Fenton denied the reports, stating that no decision had been reached as to the fitness of the athlete.
He added that a final decision would have been “Monday” (August 15), one day before the start of the 200 meters heats.
Francis’ replacement in the 4X1 relay team, Jared Jarvis, will join Daniel Bailey, Cejhae Greene and Chevaughn Walsh for the start of the heats on Thursday.
The athlete had been billed as one of the country’s top medal hopes at the Olympic Games given his accomplishments on the track leading into the August 5-21 event in Rio de Janeiro.
Francis clocked 19.67 in the 200 meters during the National Championships held in Antigua & Barbuda in July, after running 20.16 at the Cayman Island Invitational in May.