Learmonth’s Olympic dream is put on hold
Berwick’s very own Olympic hopeful, Guy Learmonth has seen his Tokyo dream ended because of a respiratory problem after revealing he contracted Covid-19 in March.
The 29-year-old was due to compete at the British Championships, which double as Olympic trials, last weekend.
But he is now taking time out after belatedly seeking medical help.
Learmonth says missing a potential Olympics debut is the "hardest and most brutal decision of my life".
"I didn't want to admit anything was wrong," he added on Instagram.
"I was one of many that got Covid at the Euro Champs in March and after initially getting through it, I just cracked on with training almost immediately, raced a lot across America and Europe and put so much stress and strain on my body without the proper recovery.
"I was reluctant to accept that Covid had anything to do with it but as the races went on and my performances started going backwards, I knew deep down something was wrong with my body.
"I finally took the plunge and after a series of tests and respiratory scans this week we've gotten to the bottom of things instantly.
"The worst thing of all is it is a relatively quick recovery process and if I just admitted that something was wrong then I would have had this sorted in March and not two days before the Olympic trials. My own hubris got the better of me."
Learmonth competed at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games, but missed out on possible selection for the Olympics in Rio five years ago because of injury.
He secured a third British indoor title with victory in Glasgow in February last year.
"It's a bitter pill to swallow," he said. "These last 18 months I've genuinely changed my entire life to gear for Tokyo and to fight for my place but I won't be able to make that walk this time around.
"It has been the hardest and most brutal decision of my life. But I will be taking a small step back to focus on my recovery, some rehab and all going well over the next four weeks I hope to be back racing towards the end of the season in August/September time."
Another Northumberland Olympic hopeful, Alnwick’s Laura Weightman was also forced to give up her qualification spot at Manchester after suffering a hamstring injury in training last week.