HAVANA (Reuters) - Dayron Robles, the 2008 Olympic Games 110 meters hurdles champion and former world record holder, will retire from athletics owing to a lack of attention from Cuban sports officials, his coach said on Thursday.
Robles, 26, pulled up injured in the 2012 Olympic final and has struggled to recapture his form of a few years ago when he won the Olympic title in Beijing after setting a world record of 12.87 seconds in June 2008.
“For me it’s a huge loss for Cuban sport and a huge mistake by Cuban sport to have not given his needs enough attention,” Santiago Antunez told Reuters.
Robles could not be reached for comment.
He has been frustrated with injury struggles since his stellar year in 2008 and after he lost his Olympic crown in London he made numerous complaints to Cuban sports officials, none of which have been listened to, said his coach.
“The treatment of Robles has been extremely poor,” said Antunez, who had been the athlete’s coach until a few days ago when Robles announced his retirement from the national team.
“The lack of attention to have let an athlete of this level go and retire is a huge mistake by Cuban sport,” Antunez added.
National commissioner Jose Luis Sanchez had previously been quoted in local paper Juventud Rebelde as saying that Robles was on the way out.
“Robles asked to be officially released from the national athletics team which was granted. The boy does not want to continue competing. They tried to convince him but he gave up,” said Sanchez.
“The motives for his decision have not been explained at all,” he added.
Writing by Tom Pilcher in London, Editing by Gene Cherry