Heike Drechsler's Season Over

BERLIN, July 23 Reuters - Double Olympic long jumpchampion Heike Drechsler has acknowledged her season isover because of a torn achilles tendon, but she stillhopes to defend her Olympic title next year.
The 38-year-old, who won gold medals in Barcelona in1992 and Sydney in 2000, needs an operation and willmiss the world championships in Paris at the end ofAugust.
But the four-times European champion, who was also aworld-class sprinter and heptathlete, is not intendingto retire.
I am very unhappy. I haven't had to endure a seasonlike this before, but I'm going to keep my head up,'' atearful Drechsler told SID sports agency, saying shewould have a week's holiday before her operation. She will need six months to recover fully from thesurgery, which will take place on August 7. Her manager Joerg Neblung said Drechsler was not thesort of athlete to give up easily. Heike has not been so lucky with worldchampionships,’’ he said. ``Fortunately, we have theOlympics next year.’’
Drechsler was forced to pull out of last weekend’sgrand prix meeting in Madrid after a poor jump of 6.07metres in Rome the previous week, well short of the 6.75m required to qualify for the world championships.