Michelle Smith - No Show
Paul Quinlan

Irish Olympic Champion Michelle de Bruin (Smith) has announced her withdrawl from the 8th World Swimming Championships which begin on January 8.

Tom Hoad, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Championships said, "It's a pity she won't be here. However, there will be up and comers who will take her place, and I suspect the times she swam in Atlanta and Sevilla would not have been fast enough to win here in Perth."

Smith, in the statement released by her solicitors in Dublin, admitted that disappointing performances in recent races convinced her that she was not fit enough for the World Championships.

It has been reported that de Bruin recently suffered slight whip lash in a car accident near her home in County Kilkenny. Michelle wore a neck brace for a short while.

As recently as a week ago she was considering swimming in the women's 800m free event in Perth.

On pulling out of the Championships in Perth she was quoted as saying, "I will have to content meyself with turning my focus back to the Olympics in Sydney and aiming to ready for them."