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Lucy Charles-Barclay OUT of IRONMAN World Championship

Reigning 70.3 World Champ says she's gone from 'literally the highest point of my career to the absolute lowest'

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Lucy Charles-Barclay, the reigning 70.3 World Champion, has been ruled out of May’s IRONMAN World Championship and June’s Sub8 attempt due to a stress fracture in her left hip.

Revealing the news on her YouTube channel, the impressive winner of the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship explained she has a small fracture in the cortical region of her hip, along with a large amount of oedema (swelling).

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LCB reveals hip injury

She said: “It’s obviously devastating that this year had the potential to be the biggest of my career with two World Championships at the Ironman distance, my Sub8 attempt, and the 70.3 Worlds at the end of the year. 

“So obviously Utah is out of the question. The Sub8 project is out of the question, but I definitely will be there in some capacity supporting the other athletes, maybe even commentating on the event. 

“And then after that, again, I can’t really look at a timeline. I’m probably going to miss most of the PTO races, which again is such a great thing for our sport, but I’m not going to be able to do those this year. And then in the latter half of the year, I can’t really promise that I’m going to be racing. I just don’t know where I’m going to be, and I’m not going to put that kind of pressure on myself. 

“For any athlete, having an injury is like the worst thing in the world. And it’s definitely difficult to mentally deal with because any sports person has highs and lows in their career, but I really do feel like I’ve come from literally the highest point of my career to the absolute lowest. So this is obviously hard to deal with in itself.

How long will Lucy be out?

Talking in detail about the timeline of her injury, she said: “Unfortunately after really only a week and a bit of feeling what was, to be honest, not a terrible niggle in my hip…I reached out to [sponsors] Red Bull and they went and got me a scan. 

So on Friday, I had an MRI scan on my hip, which unfortunately gave us the news that there is a small fracture in the cortical region of my bone and there is also a large amount of oedema in the bone and that is in the femoral head.

“So it’s not a great place to have all of that going on. That being said, it could be worse. Obviously, it could be way better. But that is where we’re at. 

“I haven’t actually got any pain, which is one of the strangest things. It’s looking like my bone density is normal again. There’s going to be further specialists looking into that, but we can take that as a small win. If my bone density looks normal, then I shouldn’t have an issue in healing. 

“But this is still early days, so we don’t really know how long this is going to take to heal. It could take a matter of four weeks. It could take a matter of four months. Like we really don’t know at this stage. So it’s not the best news. I’m trying to stay as positive as possible.”

2022 season is on pause

Writing on Facebook after posting the video, she added: “Sport can be cruel sometimes. For now the 2022 season is on pause & my focus is on rest, recovery and healing.

“I would like to thank my team and sponsors at this time for their incredible support. Together we will get through this and I will come back stronger.”

Charles-Barclay had been one of the clear favourites for the showdown at St George in Utah after her dominant victory in the half-distance Worlds at the same location last September, which helped her finish 2021 as the number one-ranked female in the PTO world rankings.

The May 7 race is the first full-distance World Championship to be held away from Hawaii, having been rescheduled from late 2021 because of the global COVID pandemic.

Charles-Barclay enjoyed a stellar 2021, with other highlights a clear-cut success at the inaugural Collins Cup and a sub-four hours time as she again produced a masterclass in all three disciplines at the IRONMAN 70.3 European Championship at Elsinore.

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.

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