A hip injury has denied Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe of a place at a third consecutive Olympic Games.
The Kilkenny man was invited to compete by organisers but confirmed his withdrawal from the Tokyo showpiece on social media last night.
Earlier this month he said that his Olympic dream was open after he was diagnosed with a hip problem.
The injury kept him out of the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Championships in Cairo which was a chance to qualify for the modern pentathlon at the World Games.
Arthur has represented his country at two previous Olympics.
Writing on his Instagram account on Wednesday, he said:
QUALIFIED FOR MY 3RD OLYMPIC GAMES!
What was on the last two occasions a euphoric moment was however bittersweet this time around.
My injury to my hip is too much to overcome and I have decided that the honorable thing to do would be to pass my place onto another athlete who was fit to compete at the highest level.
This is not a decision I have taken lightly and it’s been one of the most painful things for me to do having fought soo hard to get here. I made my intentions for Tokyo very clear and that was to go competing for a medal.
This is no longer possible with my injury, so to travel and not represent myself or my country to the fullest would be dishonorable and in my opinion against the core values of Olympism which are “excellence, friendship and respect” and I feel in this instance I need to honor this….. @alvaro_sandoval_aguilar you are the better man for the job. You now not only represent Mexico but also Ireland and we will be cheering for you, best of luck my friend!
In my heart at least I know that despite everything I still made it (3times 😏)
Thank you everyone for your support over the past few weeks. It has been almost overwhelming and something I honestly didn’t expect. I just want to say everyone of those messages made a difference and I appreciate you all for that. I am doing good and now focusing my energy into helping my beautiful fiancé @natalyacoyle reach the top of that podium for both of us.