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Defending men's javelin champion Thomas Roehler has pulled out of competing at the Tokyo Olympics due to a back injury, he confirmed Monday.
"It was incredibly difficult for me to turn down Tokyo. Together with my coach I have weighed things up carefully, but in the end my health has priority," said the 29-year-old, who injured his back while training.
"I have to listen to my body now, because I want to compete at the top level for a few more years.
"By participating at the Olympic Games, I would be risking too much, because of the back injury."
Roehler, who is also the reigning European champion, claimed the gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games with a winning throw of 90.30m.
The Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, are due to start on July 23 until August 8.
Even with Roehler out, Germany still has an Olympic gold medal prospect in the event in the shape of 2017 world javelin champion Johannes Vetter.