Jack Green, the 2012 European Under-23 400 metres hurdles champion and a key member of Britain’s 4x400m relay squad at the London Olympics, is to take a break from the sport in 2014 after revealing that he has been battling depression.

The 22-year-old, who called an early end to his 2013 season in July, citing “a lot of personal issues”, announced that he will not be taking up his place on the Lottery-funding World Class Performance Programme in 2014. “Those close to me and working with me know I have been suffering with depression over the last year and, despite a full recovery, I believe a break is necessary for my mental health,” he said. State of Mind would like to wish Jack all the very best during the breakJack green

“Athletics at the top level requires an application that I had, disappointingly, not been able to give it in recent times, which made life both on and off the track extremely difficult for me and I need to step back for a period of time.

“I wanted to be open and honest about my reasons for taking this break. I have been lucky to be so well supported during this time by the British Athletics support staff, but I realise this can be a difficult subject matter and if me being honest offers anyone else some support then that can only be a good thing.

“I’d like to thank the British Athletics performance team including my coach Malcolm Arnold for their support and understanding leading up to this difficult decision.”

Green, who trains under Malcolm Arnold and Bath alongside 2011 world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene, announced himself as one of Britain’s most exciting young prospects with 400m hurdles gold at the 2011 European Under-23 Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

The following year he qualified for his first Olympic Games and made it through to the semi-finals before tangling with a hurdle on the back straight and failing to finish the race.

He also ran the second leg in the Olympic 4x400m final, in which the British team finished in an agonising fourth place, just 0.13 sec outside the bronze medal.

But the Maidstone-born athlete endured a torrid season this year, failing to finish three races and struggling to emulate his performances of the previous year.

After missing out on the defence of his European Under-23 title when he crashed out of the heats in Tampere, Finland, he called a premature halt to his season, admitting he had endured “the worst year of my life with a lot of personal issues”.

Neil Black, the UK Athletics performance director, said: “We fully support Jack in what has obviously been a tough decision and I’m really pleased that he has been open about his reasons. We look forward to seeing Jack back in the sport once he has had enough time to recuperate.”