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GB long jumper earns high praise for speaking out over period pain withdrawal

Jazmin Sawyers said she wanted to break the taboo. Credit: PA

Olympic long jumper Jazmin Sawyers has been praised for speaking out after she revealed she withdrew from her latest competition at the last minute because of period pains.

Fellow athletes joined fans in highlighting the 23-year-old Brit's frank message, which she posted as a two-page note on her Twitter account a day after Sunday's Adidas Boost Boston Games.

"This is something we don’t talk about and I wanted to put it out there because I’m sure there are other young athletes dealing with it," she said.

The British athlete said she faces the problem of competing through the pain almost every month. Credit: PA

Ms Sawyers, who once appeared on ITV talent show The Voice, described her extreme discomfort as a "can’t walk, intense pain radiating down my legs, head spinning, full body sweating, shouting, crying kind of bad".

She added: "If you don’t have periods, or don’t have them this bad, it’s hard to imagine why I can’t just suck it up and compete.

"But when you’re in so much pain you can’t walk more than a few steps, and your legs buckle under your own weight, there’s no chance you can jump."

British sprinter and bobsledder Montell Douglas hailed the comments, which she said described her own experience throughout her career.

Responding to calls for the matter to be talked about more publically, she added:

Ms Sawyers, the reigning European and Commonwealth silver medallist, said her body cycle's impact on competing happens "almost every month", including during last summer's Rio Olympics.

"I was only able to compete in the qualification round of the Olympics due to a whole load of painkillers, and still felt awful," she said.

Jazmin Sawyers posted a two-page note on her Twitter account. Credit: Twitter/JazminSawyers

Ms Sawyers said she was still looking for medical help to overcome the problem.

"It’s something I’ve been working with medical staff to fix, but we haven’t yet found a solution," she said.

"We discuss injuries and illness openly, but this is something we don’t talk about and I wanted to put it out there because I’m sure there are other young athletes dealing with it. Girl, I believe you when you say how bad it is – you’re not alone."

Others showed their support for Ms Sawyers in speaking out and suggested possible diagnoses for her extreme pain.

Ms Sawyers' comments came two years after British tennis player Heather Watson said her disappointing performance in the first round of the Australian Open had been affected by period pains.

"I think it's just one of these things that I have, girl things," she said. "It just happens."