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Elbow injury rules ‘devastated’ Alice Tai out of Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Paralympic champion Alice Tai admitted she was ‘devastated’ at being forced to miss the Tokyo 2020 Games through injury.

The 22-year-old, who won gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as part of the Women’s 34 Points 4x100m Medley Relay team, requires surgery on an elbow problem.

Tai has been through a lengthy period of rehabilitation but has now taken the ‘extremely difficult’ decision to miss this summer’s Paralympics to focus on her recovery.

She said: “Competing at Tokyo 2020 has been my main goal for the last five years, so it’s devastating that I’ll be missing the Games later this year.

The decision to withdraw was extremely difficult to accept but my health is ultimately more important than competing.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with an incredible core team who exhausted all conservative treatments to keep me in the pool – it’s comforting to know there was nothing more that could’ve been done. 

Cruel decision

“Even if I’m not racing myself, I’ll still be watching the Games and cheering everyone on from home so best of luck to you guys!”

Chris Furber, British Para-swimming’s performance director, predicted Tai, who won seven gold medals at the London 2019 World Para-swimming Championships, would return for major competitions in the future.

“It’s been a cruel decision for Alice to face,” he said. 

“However, I have every confidence she has the determination to bounce back from this setback and will go onto achieve further success at major meets over the next few years on the journey to Paris 2024.

“We’ll miss her presence among the team this summer. 

“Alice holds a wealth of experience and is one of the characters in the squad many of our newer members look up to but I’m sure, despite her own personal disappointment, she will be wishing every success to her teammates in Tokyo.”