June 15 (Reuters) - Four-times world long jump champion Dwight Phillips will miss the London Olympics after having surgery that will keep him out of the U.S. trials, the American’s agent said on Friday.
“He had surgery because he is injured,” Caroline Feith told Reuters via telephone from Germany. “He will not compete in the U.S. trials.”
The trials begin on Thursday in Oregon.
Phillips, the 2004 Olympic champion, said on his Twitter account he would miss the June 21-July 1 qualifying meeting because of a recurring Achilles problem.
“I have had surgery and I am looking forward to competing at the World Championship in 2013 which will be my final year,” he said.
The 34-year-old won world titles in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2011.
Even without the Achilles problem, he may have struggled to make the U.S. team because of an automobile accident earlier this season and the emergence of younger jumpers.
Phillips’ car was hit from behind in April and he had not been able to train properly.
“I had some strong pains in my neck from whiplash and also my back,” the reigning world champion said in a diary posted last month on the international athletics federation’s website.
Only the top three finishers at the U.S. trials make the team. There are no exceptions for injuries.
Phillips finished fourth at the 2008 trials, which cost him a chance to defend his Olympic title. (Reporting By Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)