Knee surgery sidelines Tweddle

25 April 2012 / 17:38

Beth Tweddle will not attempt to defend her uneven bars title at the European Championships in Brussels in May after undergoing minor knee surgery.

The 27-year-old, whose title last year is among six European gold medals she has claimed in her career, underwent keyhole surgery and withdrew from the selection process as a precautionary measure ahead of the London Olympics.

Tweddle said: "I'm disappointed not to be in a position to attend the Europeans but also thankful that this gives me the opportunity to get myself fully fit and ready for the rest of the season, certainly it's much better for this process to happen now rather than later in the year."

She added: "I am very much still in the gym every day and will continue to work alongside the British Gymnastics medical team to ensure I manage my recovery.

"The line-up for the European Championship demonstrates the strength in depth that we have, and I'm sure the girls will do a great job in Brussels."

Tim Jones, British Gymnastics Olympic performance director, said: "It is important for us to protect Beth and safeguard her Olympic dreams.

"It is in Beth's best interests that we have decided not to consider her for the 2012 European Championships, allowing her to spend the time working with the British Gymnastics medical team and her coach to ensure a speedy return to full fitness."

Five senior and five junior women have been selected to represent Great Britain at the championships in Belgium from May 9-13.

The seniors include British champion Hannah Whelan and three-time Commonwealth champion Imogen Cairns - both of whom competed in Beijing four years ago - with the athletes all looking to stake their claim to make the Games team, which will be announced on July 4.

They are joined by Jennifer Pinches and Danusia Francis who competed at the 2011 European and World Championships, whilst 15-year old Rebecca Tunney makes her senior major championships debut to complete the line-up. The seniors will compete in team and individual apparatus competitions.