Team England’s Thomas Young has been forced to withdraw from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games through injury.
The Croydon-born athlete who grew up in the East Midlands picked up minor bone and ligament damage in his lower leg following a fall at the end of a recent race. The 21-year-old was crowned Paralympic T38 100m Champion at Tokyo 2020 and was due to compete in the same event in Birmingham this summer as a strong medal hope for Team England.
The Loughborough Students athlete, coached by Joseph McDonnell, said:
"I am really gutted to not be able to compete at my first Commonwealth Games just down the road from where I’ve grown up in the Midlands. I’ve be running some really fast times in races this season, consistently faster than what I was running before Tokyo, and was excited to see what I could do as we targeted peaking at the Games.
"The training I’ve done doesn’t disappear though and a gold medal mentality is something I don’t lack, so I’m excited to turn my attention to work on some other things to make me a stronger athlete for next season and support my teammates achieving great things on home soil.”
"The Commonwealth Games is unique as an integrated championships where para-athletes compete alongside able-bodied counterparts in front of a capacity audience. After winning my Paralympic gold in an empty stadium in Tokyo last year I was excited for a home audience and to have my family and friends watching, alongside the opportunity to toe the line on the same night as the fastest men and women in the Commonwealth on what looked like the biggest night of the athletics schedule.
"A home Games is an amazing opportunity to engage the nation in a sport that I love. I hope to still be engaged with the Games and champion increasing diversity in Parasport to better reflect the diversity in Olympic athletics and society, and also raise awareness of the slightly less visibly impaired accessing sport. Inspiring belief in others that everyone is born a champion at something, impairment or not, sport or not, is something I am really passionate about.
"A home Games, and an integrated one, is a real opportunity to re-engage and inspire GenZ with live sport again. London 2012 inspired me to take up athletics and through my achievements and journey I try to inspire a generation and the next young rising star like my idol Usain Bolt did for me.
"I’ll be back at the 2026 Commonwealth Games to target my ambition of a grand slam of international titles. The football season starting early this year because of the World Cup and my season ticket for Fulham in the Premier League after their promotion will keep me motivated through the rehab."
Kelly Sotherton, Team England’s Team Leader for athletics at Birmingham 2022, said:
“All of us as staff are completely gutted for Thomas who made it clear for everyone to see just how much he was looking forward to being a big part of Team England at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. We wish him a speedy recovery and are sure he’ll be back on the track soon competing amongst the best in the world, given his talent and determination.”
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF] will be informed by Commonwealth Games England [CGE] of Thomas’s withdrawal. Reallocation of places is controlled by CGF.