BREAKING NEWS: Jamaican gymnast Danusia Francis reveals knee injury ahead of gymnastics competition

By July 22, 2021
Francis (centre) with her heavily bandaged knee Francis (centre) with her heavily bandaged knee Danusia Francis

Jamaica has suffered an injury blow ahead of the start of the Tokyo Olympics this weekend.

The artistic gymnastics competition for women is scheduled to begin on Sunday morning in Japan (Saturday night in the Caribbean)

Members of the country’s 62-member team are arriving in Tokyo ahead of the games that officially begin tomorrow morning and right off the bat, it appears as if injury is playing an early role.

Gymnast Danusia Francis has revealed that she had an injured left knee. The severity of the injury is unknown but she is still managing to get her practice sessions in albeit with some amount of caution. The athlete, only the second female gymnast to represent Jamaica at the Olympics, posted pictures on her Instagram account knee on Tuesday and again on Wednesday that showed her heavily bandaged knee.

On Friday morning, she confirmed what the pictures were showing when she posted, “The arena is stunning. Unfortunately, I do have a knee injury so only bars today, but happy with my performance and enjoyed myself out there.” It is unclear whether she suffered the injury prior to or after her arrival in Japan.

She also posted a video of herself leaping and landing with stability, which might be an indication that the injury is not too severe.

Francis is expected to perform well at the Olympics on the strength of outstanding performances in her routines in Spain in June while competing for gymnastics club Xelska.

“My performances were really good. I was extremely happy with my bar routine, I got a really good score there, and then my vault was good,” she said at the time.

“I did make a mistake on (the) beam but as I mentioned, I was only supposed to do three of the events and the beam was a last-minute decision so I was a bit flustered and it was kind of an uncharacteristic mistake so nothing that I can’t fix.”

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  •  Atkinson bids emotional farewell to Olympic career - puts hopes for elusive medal in hands of next generation  Atkinson bids emotional farewell to Olympic career - puts hopes for elusive medal in hands of next generation

    Veteran swimmer Alia Atkinson shared a few words with her fans after her final race at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

    The Jamaican took to Instagram and wrote, “It’s funny. Looking back, the years went by so fast and before I realized it, I was looking at the end of it. A question that was asked after my swim today was: Would I give it all up for an Olympic medal? And honestly, I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything. All the ups and downs has made me who I am today (though at times it feels like there are more downs than ups), but it taught me how to get up and God taught me how to smile through it all."

     Atkinson, who made her Olympic debut in 2004, finished third in heat 3 of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke but only just missed out on a semifinal spot. She recorded a time of 1:07:70, which was the 17th fastest, meaning she finished just outside of the qualifiers, with only 16 places up for grabs. It was her only event of the Games.

     “My x5 Olympic journey ends here, but the Olympic medal is still waiting for some Jamaican girl/boy to claim it. I know you can, so keep pushing," she wrote.

     The 31-year-old has not won an Olympic medal for Jamaica, but one of her most notable performances was at the Olympic Games.  At London 2012, she finished fourth in the 100m Breaststroke. She beat Canada’s Tera van Beilen in a swim-off to make it to the final after the two were tied in the semifinal. She then went on to clock 1:06:93 in the final to become the second Jamaican to finish in the top four of an Olympic swimming event.

    She ended her Instagram post by writing, “To the future Jamaican Olympic swimming medalist: “I hope the road was/is less rocky for you. If so, then I have indeed succeeded. We have waited a long time for you, so thank you for staying true and carrying the fly high."

    Atkinson has indicated that she has not retired fully from swimming and this is just the end of her Olympic journey.

     

  • Tokyo Olympics Recap: Popovich insists France loss should not come as a surprise Tokyo Olympics Recap: Popovich insists France loss should not come as a surprise

    United States men's basketball coach Gregg Popovich insists his side's defeat to France in their first outing at Tokyo 2020 should not be considered a surprise result.

    Team USA have won gold in the last three Games, but they saw a 25-game winning streak in the tournament come to an end on Sunday against an inspired France side.

    Les Blues, who also beat a much-fancied USA in the World Cup quarter-finals in 2019, are ranked seventh in the FIBA rankings but proved too strong for the world's top team with an 83-76 win at the Saitama Super Arena.

    Despite his side's long unbeaten run in the competition coming to an end, Popovich – taking charge at his first Games – was quick to put the loss into some perspective.

    "People shouldn't be surprised that we lost to the French team or the Australian team or the Spanish team or the Lithuanian team," he told reporters. 

    "It doesn't matter who it is – the gap in talent shrinks every year, as there are more and more great players all over the world. 

    "And you need to give the French team credit for playing well. They were more consistent than we were at both ends of the court. It's as simple as that."

     

    STARS ALIGN FOR HISTORY-MAKING ZOLOTIC

    Sunday was a positive day on the whole for Team USA – especially compared to Saturday, when they failed to win a medal on the opening day of a Games for the first time since Munich 1972 – as they picked up four gold, two silver and four bronze.

    That haul includes a maiden gold in the women's taekwondo thanks to teenager Anastasija Zolotic, who beat Tatiana Minina of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in the final of the -57kg weight category event. 

    "My eight-year-old self was running around the schoolyard saying I was going to be Olympic champion but she could never have imagined what this moment is like," Zolotic said. 

    "It's unbelievable. It really hasn't sunk in yet. I can't believe it. I'm in a bit of shock. I'm just trying to wrap my head around it. It feels wonderful. I came here confident and ready to take the gold. The stars were aligned."

    Zolotic's win came on the back of two-time Olympic champion Jade Jones suffering a shock elimination to Refugee Olympic Team member Kimia Alizadeh in the last 16, denying the Team GB athlete a shot of winning a historic third gold.

     

    BILES BOUNCES BACK, CHUSOVITINA WAVES GOODBYE

    A lot of focus has been on Simone Biles heading into the Games, though she had a rare off day as the USA finished behind ROC in the women's gymnastics qualifying.

    Biles, who won four golds and a bronze in Rio, was penalised on both floor and vault but still scored a respectable 14.166 to book a spot in the final.

    While Biles still has time on her side, both in Tokyo and in the long term, the 2020 Games will be the last for Uzbekistan's Oksana Chusovitina, who bowed out on Sunday after a record-setting eighth appearance at the Olympics.

    Chusovitina, at the age of 46, just missed out on qualifying for the vault event and was given a standing ovation by the small number of people inside the arena.

    To put Chusovitina's remarkable run of appearances into perspective, she made her debut at the Games in 1992, some five years before Biles was born.

    "It was really nice. I cried tears of happiness because so many people have supported me for a long time," she said. "I didn't look at the results, but I feel very proud and happy. I'm saying goodbye to sports. It's kind of mixed feelings.

    "I'm alive, I'm happy, I'm here without any injuries, and I can stand on my own."

    KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY

    Japanese pair Uta and Hifumi Abe made Olympic history as they became the first siblings to win gold medals on the same day of a Games in an individual sport, both enjoying success in judo on day two in Tokyo.

    Uta won the women’s 52kg competition, defeating France's Amandine Buchard. A closely contested bout went to a golden score, with Abe crucially claiming ippon to settle the final in her favour.

    The two-time world champion cried tears of joy in the aftermath, admitting: "I don't know, maybe it may not have been appropriate but I couldn't hold myself back."

    Older brother Hifumi made it a family double, overcoming Vazha Margvelashvili of Georgia to triumph in the men's 66kg final.

    "This has turned out to be the greatest day ever," he said. "I don't think we, as brother and sister, could shine any brighter on this stage known as the Tokyo Olympics. I'm so happy."

     

  • Tokyo Olympics: Biles blunders surprise USA chief but superstar stays in hunt for six gold medals Tokyo Olympics: Biles blunders surprise USA chief but superstar stays in hunt for six gold medals

    Simone Biles mixed brilliance with an unfamiliar touch of the erratic as she launched into Tokyo 2020 action, just about keeping alive the prospect of beating her Rio haul of four gold medals.

    The American gymnastics great headed the all-around individual standings, just ahead of the impressive Brazilian Rebeca Andrade, with USA team-mate Sunisa Lee in third.

    She remains in the hunt in six events, but it was far from a dominant Biles at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, and the United States team as a whole had an unusually mediocre day. The Russian Olympic Committee gymnasts finished above them in the team standings for the first time since 2010 at a major event.

    Russia's score of 171.629 suggested they can post a major challenge in the final to the usually dominant United States (170.562), although Biles and her team-mates will want to prove themselves once again.

    Since 2011, the USA have won team gold at all five World Championships and both Olympic Games, in London and Rio.

    Biles' landings were not near as sure-footed as they have so typically been, and in her floor exercise she misjudged a tumbling pass to such an extent she stepped back all the way off the raised floor.

     

    Tom Forster, high performance co-ordinator for the USA, was taken aback by Biles' mistakes.

    He said: "That was a surprise. She's been incredibly consistent and I'm sure she feels bad, but I'm super proud of the way she trained.

    "She's been a great leader for us. Sometimes, just like in other sports, great athletes drop the ball in the end zone or a quarterback throws an interception. It happens. Those steps are mental errors."

    At one point it appeared Biles might miss out on the eight-woman final of the uneven bars, but she squeezed in, benefiting from the rule that allows only two athletes from each nation in the final. Biles finished 10th in qualifying, but four Russian competitors were ahead of her, with two of those unable to advance.

    It means she remains in the hunt for titles in all six of her events, including the team competition, for which Forster will look to ensure Biles and her team-mates are thoroughly prepared.

    "Staying in bounds would help. Simone took three big steps on her beam dismount. I've never seen her do that before," Forster said.

    The challenge of the Russian team could lift the Americans, or it could point to a changing of the guard at the top of women's gymnastics.

    Forster is only looking to the former, saying: "This might be a great awakening for us, and we'll take advantage of it."

    While 24-year-old Biles battles to recover peak form in time for Tuesday's team final, Olympic veteran Oksana Chusovitina has reached the end of the road in her Games career.

    Competing at her eighth Olympics, the 46-year-old took part in the vault but failed to qualify for the final.

    Chusovitina, who has previously competed for the Soviet Union and Germany and made her Games debut in 1992, was back representing her native Uzbekistan in Tokyo and received an ovation from her rivals after producing two valiant vaults.

    "It was really nice. I cried tears of happiness because so many people have supported me for a long time," she said of the recognition.

    "I feel very proud and happy. I'm saying goodbye to sports. It's kind of mixed feelings. I'm alive, I'm happy, I'm here without any injuries, and I can stand on my own."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.