Injury-plagued Rosa Mota, the 1988 Olympic women’s marathon champion, said she would not compete in Barcelona. In a statement sent to national news agency Lusa, the Portuguese runner said she is not fit enough to train.
Mota, who won the 1991 London Marathon, retired from this year’s race because of stomach pains. She also pulled out of the World Championships in Tokyo last September.
Determined to compete at Barcelona, she continued training until this week, when she suffered another setback that prevented training the last few days.
“In view of the aspirations the Portuguese have put in me as a medal hopeful, it is with great sadness that I announce my decision not to participate,” Mota said.
Mota, 34, the European champion in 1982, 1986 and 1990, became a national heroine when she won the bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, the first time the women’s Olympic marathon was held. She became Portugal’s first Olympic medal winner in women’s track and field.