Pregnancy takes Tokyo Olympics off the table, triathlete Helen Jenkins says

Double world triathlon champion Helen Jenkins has said that competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is probably now “off the table” as she is 32 weeks’ pregnant.

Ms Jenkins, of Bridgend, South Wales, was hoping to return to competition this year after giving birth to her daughter Mali in August 2017 and having back surgery in 2018.

After collecting an MBE from the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace, Ms Jenkins, 35, said: “I was hoping to come back this year but my back was not ready. It was not good enough to compete at the highest level.”

Saying that her pregnancy probably “takes Tokyo off the table,” she added: “I still want to get back to competing but it is still very unknown with my back as to whether I am going to be able to get back to that top level.”

Helen Jenkins meets the Duke of Cambridge
Helen Jenkins meets the Duke of Cambridge (Jonathan Brady/PA)

She won the 2008 and 2011 world titles and has competed in three Olympics, with a best finish of fifth place at London 2012.

She was pleased she got to share the good news about her MBE for services to triathlon with her “biggest fan” – her grandfather David – before he died in December.

She said: “I found out in November and although you are not meant to tell anyone, I told him. He only had a few days left.

“He did know before he passed away and he was really proud.

“This (ceremony) has been a really nice thing for my nan Mary to look forward to.”

She added: “You train all the time to be the best athlete you can be but you do not imagine awards like this. It is really lovely to be recognised for achieving in sport and also contributing to sport.”

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