SYDNEY, Match 17 (Xinhua) -- Athletics Australia, the national governing body for athletics in Australia, on Monday expressed its disappointment about the sudden withdrawal of American hurdler Nia Ali from the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge.
Less than 24 hours after Ali's entry was confirmed publicly, her management told Athletics Australia (AA) that the American star would not to travel to Australia for the event next weekend.
"It is very disappointing, and to be honest frustrating, to hear that Nia has chosen to withdraw from competing at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge," AA Chief Executive Officer Dallas O' Brien said in a statement on Monday.
"We made the announcement of her start yesterday following regular conversation with her management and given the lateness of the decision it will be difficult to replace her with an athlete of equal caliber.
"For athletics fans the race between Ali and Sally Pearson was a very exciting match-up and I apologize for the fact that it now won't go ahead at Lakeside Stadium next weekend."
O' Brien says the event will still welcome a large contingent of outstanding talent from Australia and around the world despite Ali' s absence.
The Melbourne World Challenge is the only IAAF sanctioned track and field meet in Australia.