Surprise baby news ends Olympic dream
Olympic champion Chloe Esposito has sensationally withdrawn from the Australian team just months out from the Tokyo Games after discovering she was pregnant.
Esposito, a shock gold medallist in the modern pentathlon in Rio four years ago, took to social media to confirm the "unexpected" news.
The 28-year-old, from Camden in Sydney's south west, was a strong hope of winning back-to-back gold medals, but she will not get the chance to defend her crown.
Watch over 50 sports LIVE on Kayo! Stream to your TV, mobile, tablet or computer. Just $25/month, cancel anytime. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
"A wonderful unexpected surprise has happened. My husband, Matt Cooper and I are bringing a Mini Cooper into the World," Esposito tweeted.
"True to form, nothing ever works out the way we plan it. Defending my title will have to wait another four years. #pregnancytopodium Can't wait to be a Mum!"
With their baby due in August, Esposito will instead have to try and make her Olympic comeback in 2024 as a 32-year-old, when the Games will be held in Paris.
Esposito took a year off following her Rio Olympic Games gold medal performance to get married and recharge her batteries for the road to Tokyo.
A wonderful unexpected surprise has happened. My husband, Matt Cooper and I are bringing a Mini Cooper into the World.— Chloe Esposito (@chloeesposito91) January 29, 2020
True to form, nothing ever works out the way we plan it. Defending my title will have to wait another four years.#pregnancytopodium
Can’t wait to be a Mum! pic.twitter.com/xLticVgoSB
Esposito had hamstring surgery last year and was yet to secure her place in the team to travel to Tokyo, but was hopeful of locking that in at May's world championships until the baby surprise changed things.
The Australian Olympic Committee issued a statement on Thursday morning expressing its well wishes for Esposito and her pregnancy, despite it "sadly" ruling her out of contention for the Tokyo Olympics.
"I have no doubt that Chloe's preparation will be of the highest standard, as we have come to expect," AOC president John Coates
"While disappointed our Tokyo team will be missing one of its brightest stars, we are delighted with her news - and we wish her and husband Matt Cooper all the best for their new arrival.
"Chloe has been a wonderful ambassador for her sport, Australia and the Olympic movement. I am sure we will see her back in Australian colours to recapture the title she won in Rio. "
Esposito's father Daniel was a former Olympic pentathlete, and her younger brother Max finished seventh in the men's event at Rio.
The modern pentathlon, a multi-disciplined event features fencing, swimming, equestrian, pistol shooting and cross country running.