(Reuters) - Australian Jared Tallent has been forced out of the men's 50-kilometre walk at the World Athletics Championships in London by a hamstring injury, Athletics Australia said on Tuesday.

Tallent was one of Australia's main medal prospects, winning silver at the Championships in 2015 and 2011 and bronze in 2013. He also took the gold in the event at the London Olympics in 2012 and silver in Rio last year.

He was due to arrive in London on Thursday, where he said he would cheer on his wife, Claire, who is returning to international competition in the women's 20km race after taking time off for the birth of their son.

"On the one hand, my wife and I excitingly welcomed our son, Harvey, to the world and we could not be happier," Tallent said.


"On the other I have been challenged ... with recurring injuries and now a hamstring complaint that will prevent me from being able to start.

"The decision to withdraw is never easy ... I am not done yet when it comes to contesting for gold medals. The Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, the 2018 IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships and, of course, Tokyo 2020 remain on my agenda."

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

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