Adelle Tracey had one of the best weeks of her career at last week’s IAAF World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The Seattle, Washington-born Jamaican started her week with a 4:03.67 effort to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s 1500m.

A day later in the semi-finals, Tracey brought out her best and produced a time that would have been good enough to get to any other major championship final with 3:58.77. That effort is a national record and makes Tracey the first Jamaican woman to dip below 4:00 in the 1500m.

Despite Tracey’s time being seventh-fastest overall in the semis, she failed to advance to the final due to a seventh-place finish in her individual semi-final. The top six finishers in the two semi-finals advance to the final.

Tracey’s chance for redemption came in the 800m where, on August 23, she finished second in her heat with 1:59.82, a season’s best at the time, to make it to the semi-finals.

Two days later, the 30-year-old produced a personal best 1:58.99 to finish fourth in her semi-final and advance to the final as one of the two fastest losers.

The final then saw Tracey once again lower her personal best, this time clocking 1:58.41 to finish seventh.

“5 rounds, 3 PB's in one week, x2 2024 Olympic QT's, a National 1500m Record, and all the smiles doing it!!” Tracey said in a social media post on Monday.

“I am so grateful for the progress and every step of this process! Special thanks to my team and to everyone for all their support,” she added.

Tracey will next line up in the 800m at the Zurich Diamond League on Thursday.

New world champion Josh Kerr knew he would break Jakob Ingebrigtsen as he stormed to 1500 metres gold and revealed he played mind games with the Norwegian.

The Scot clocked three minutes and 29.38 seconds to stun Ingebrigtsen, forcing the overwhelming favourite to settle for silver at the World Championships in Budapest.

Kerr emulated Jake Wightman’s win in Eugene last year and, with the injured Wightman missing in Hungary, Ingebrigtsen – second in 2022 – was denied the world crown again.

“I felt him break and I just needed to stay strong,” said Kerr, who adds to his Olympics bronze.

“I was looking up at the screen making sure no one was coming on my outside but with 50m to go I knew I had it.

“I felt there was a slight weakness with 200m to go, I had to be in lane two for a minute but I’m going to fight all the way to the end, regardless whether I broke him or not.

“I’ve been in four major championship finals and come away with only a bronze. I knew it was my turn. When you’re the underdog you have to come and take what’s yours, you’re not handed anything. It was about going there and taking what’s mine.”

Kerr, fifth last year, admitted he tried to psyche Ingebrigtsen out on Wednesday after wearing a similar vest to the one Wightman wore in Eugene.

“I’m not saying I wore the specific one to bring back some nightmares but I needed every single ounce I had. This was the vest I chose,” he added.

Wightman, watching from the BBC studio at the National Athletics Centre, labelled his Edinburgh AC club-mate the Terminator after victory.

“I like it (the Terminator nickname), back-to-back world champions, it’s not something anyone has ever done before,” said Kerr.

“Especially in back-to-back years because it’s not been possible. Great Britain has something in the water. We have to keep producing world champions.”

Ingebrigtsen made his move inside the final lap, only for Kerr to retaliate with around 200m remaining – almost a carbon copy of Wightman’s win in America.

Ingebrigtsen was unable to fight back down the final straight as Kerr held off his challenge to win his first major global title.

The 25-year-old, who trains in Seattle, also revealed he cuts off communication in the build up to the Championships to focus on his goal.

“I don’t have my phone for about two weeks beforehand. Only about eight people or so,” he said. “I’m not a big social media guy when it comes to World Champs.

“You just have to have belief in yourself. My fiancee has my phone if anything big comes up, I have my other phone for the people who are massively important in this process.

“It’s been the same phone since 2021, it’s about making sure I’m focusing on the plan. All I have is the Premier League app, which I’m doing incredibly well on, and Duolingo as I’m trying to learn Spanish.”

Wightman, who has been forced to miss the Championships with a foot problem, saluted Kerr.

“Our little club in Edinburgh has had two back-to-back world champions,” he said.

“That’s hard to believe. Jakob Ingebrigtsen is going to start hating us Brits ain’t he? I think Josh Kerr knew what to do there. You saw when he came on Jakob’s shoulder.

“He showed so much promise for so long, that medal in Tokyo was just the start of this. When Josh Kerr gets it right and when he’s running well, he absolutely flies. I think Ingebrigtsen underestimated how well he was running at the moment.”

Ingebrigtsen said he had a sore throat this week and was feeling “not good”, adding: “I just wasn’t good enough.”

Asked how he views Kerr as a global rival now, he added: “It’s totally different. We have been competitors for a long time, he is a great runner but it is what it is.”

Neil Gourley, who finished ninth in the final, said: “I am really happy for Josh, I could tell this was coming, I knew he would be right up there, the margins are fine at this level.

“I knew he would give Jakob a run for his money this week. The way he has carried himself, the way he has been looking, he has been full of confidence.”

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s Molly Caudery finished fifth in the pole vault, victory shared by Australia’s Nina Kennedy and the USA’s Katie Moon, with a personal best of 4.75m, while Karsten Warholm took the 400m hurdles title.

Josh Kerr became world 1500m champion in Budapest on Wednesday after stunning favourite Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

He follows British team-mate Jake Wightman, who won in Eugene last year, and here the PA news agency looks at the new golden boy.

Chasing the dream

He left home in Edinburgh at 17 and moved to the US to attend the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque.

After turning professional in 2018 he signed with Brooks having turned down a deal with Nike and Kerr now trains in Seattle with the Brooks Beasts club and is coached by Danny Mackey.

His win also keeps the 1500m title at Edinburgh Athletic Club after Wightman’s triumph last year.

A sporting family

Kerr comes from a sporting background with his dad John a former professional rugby player and mum Jill a keen golfer.

His older brother Jake was a hooker for Bristol Bears having joined from Leicester Tigers in 2021.

Jake has one cap for Scotland, in the 2019 Six Nations against Italy, and left the Bears this summer.

Sunglasses sponsorship

Kerr has a sponsorship deal with Oakley sunglasses which rarely sees him racing without a pair.

Last year at the World Championships he wore a pair of £250 gold Oakley sunglasses, although he struggled to fifth in the final.

This year his glasses had more of a bronze tinge but he went onto win gold.

Olympic track star

Kerr was Team GB’s only male track and field medallist at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago.

He battled to 1500m bronze, running three minutes 29.05 seconds which was a new personal best.

Ingebrigtsen took the title back then but has since been beaten twice by British stars at the Worlds.

Meditation

 

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A post shared by Josh Kerr (@joshhkerr)


Kerr works with a mindfulness coach to ensure he is in the right frame of mind to compete and train.

 

He starts his day with 10 minutes of meditation and writing in his training diary to clear his mind and he also hired a chef ahead of the World Championships.

“At this point, I work extremely hard. We’re very strict with diet, sleep, training, and all this stuff,” he said. “How can we unlock the fitness more than anyone else can?”

New world champion Josh Kerr knew he would break Jakob Ingebrigtsen as he stormed to 1500 metres gold and revealed he played mind games with the Norwegian.

The Scot clocked three minutes and 29.38 seconds to stun Ingebrigtsen, forcing the overwhelming favourite to settle for silver at the World Championships in Budapest.

Kerr emulated Jake Wightman’s win in Eugene last year and, with the injured Wightman missing in Hungary, Ingebrigtsen – second in 2022 – was denied the world crown again.

“I felt him break and I just needed to stay strong,” said Kerr, who adds to his Olympics bronze.

“I was looking up at the screen making sure no one was coming on my outside but with 50m to go I knew I had it.

“I felt there was a slight weakness with 200m to go, I had to be in lane two for a minute but I’m going to fight all the way to the end, regardless whether I broke him or not.

“I’ve been in four major championship finals and come away with only a bronze. I knew it was my turn. When you’re the underdog you have to come and take what’s yours, you’re not handed anything. It was about going there and taking what’s mine.”

Kerr, fifth last year, admitted he tried to psyche Ingebrigtsen out on Wednesday after wearing a similar vest to the one Wightman wore in Eugene.

“I’m not saying I wore the specific one to bring back some nightmares but I needed every single ounce I had. This was the vest I chose,” he added.

Wightman, watching from the BBC studio at the National Athletics Centre, labelled his Edinburgh AC club-mate the Terminator after victory.

“I like it (the Terminator nickname), back-to-back world champions, it’s not something anyone has ever done before,” said Kerr.

“Especially in back-to-back years because it’s not been possible. Great Britain has something in the water. We have to keep producing world champions.”

Ingebrigtsen made his move inside the final lap, only for Kerr to retaliate with around 200m remaining – almost a carbon copy of Wightman’s win in America.

Ingebrigtsen was unable to fight back down the final straight as Kerr held off his challenge to win his first major global title.

The 25-year-old, who trains in Seattle, also revealed he cuts off communication in the build up to the Championships to focus on his goal.

“I don’t have my phone for about two weeks beforehand. Only about eight people or so,” he said. “I’m not a big social media guy when it comes to World Champs.

“You just have to have belief in yourself. My fiancee has my phone if anything big comes up, I have my other phone for the people who are massively important in this process.

“It’s been the same phone since 2021, it’s about making sure I’m focusing on the plan. All I have is the Premier League app, which I’m doing incredibly well on, and Duolingo as I’m trying to learn Spanish.”

Wightman, who has been forced to miss the Championships with a foot problem, saluted Kerr.

“Our little club in Edinburgh has had two back-to-back world champions,” he said.

“That’s hard to believe. Jakob Ingebrigtsen is going to start hating us Brits ain’t he? I think Josh Kerr knew what to do there. You saw when he came on Jakob’s shoulder.

“He showed so much promise for so long, that medal in Tokyo was just the start of this. When Josh Kerr gets it right and when he’s running well, he absolutely flies. I think Ingebrigtsen underestimated how well he was running at the moment.”

Ingebrigtsen said he had a sore throat this week and was feeling “not good”, adding: “I just wasn’t good enough.”

Asked how he views Kerr as a global rival now, he added: “It’s totally different. We have been competitors for a long time, he is a great runner but it is what it is.”

Neil Gourley, who finished ninth in the final, said: “I am really happy for Josh, I could tell this was coming, I knew he would be right up there, the margins are fine at this level.

“I knew he would give Jakob a run for his money this week. The way he has carried himself, the way he has been looking, he has been full of confidence.”

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s Molly Caudery finished fifth in the pole vault, victory shared by Australia’s Nina Kennedy and the USA’s Katie Moon, with a personal best of 4.75m, while Karsten Warholm took the 400m hurdles title.

Jamaica’s Adelle Tracey ran a new national record but unfortunately missed out on advancing to the final of the 1500m during the evening session of the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Sunday.

In the semi-finals where only the top six from each heat would advance to the final, Tracey ran an incredible time of 3:58.77 to become the first Jamaican woman to break the four-minute barrier but the time was only good enough for seventh place. Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, the gold medal favourite and world-record holder, won the semi-final heat in 3:55.14.

What is interesting is that Tracey was faster than all the qualifiers from the first heat that was won by Ethiopia’s Nelly Chepchirchir in 4:02.14.

Adelle Tracey won the Women’s 1500m title on day two of the JAAA/Puma National Senior and Junior Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston on Friday.

With a field of only two competitors, the 2022 NACAC silver medallist ran a time of 4:19.23 to finish ahead of 2018 Commonwealth Games 3000m steeplechase gold medalist, Aisha Praught-Leer (4:23.05).

The automatic qualification standard for the 1500m to the Budapest World Championships is 4:03.50 which Tracey achieved when she ran 4:02.65 at the Ostrava Golden Spike in August 2022.

Jake Wightman will not defend his 1500 metres title at the World Championships in Budapest next month due to injury.

The 28-year-old became the first Briton in 39 years to win the world 1500m title with a shock victory over Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen in Eugene last year.

His victory was even more memorable because his dad Geoff, the stadium announcer at Hayward Field, commentated on his run.

Wightman went on to earn 1500m bronze at the Commonwealth Games and 800m silver at the European Championships, but he suffered a foot injury at the start of this year and has since had shin and hamstring problems.

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He revealed he has taken the decision to miss the World Championships so as not to “jeopardise” his fitness for next year’s Olympics in Paris.

“Sadly I’m going to have to wait a bit longer for a moment like this…” he posted on Instagram, beneath a picture of him celebrating his world title.

“As a result of my injury I sustained in February, I’ve had to deal with several more set backs as I prepared to race this summer.

“I’ve always felt as though time has been on my side to overcome my problems fully, however it has finally run out.

“This means I’m sadly going to be unable to compete at Worlds which has been really gutting to come to terms with.

“Although I’m very disappointed not be able to try and defend my title, my focus has to be on getting my body rested and ready for 2024, to ensure I’ll be back performing at my best.

“The are some risks I could’ve taken to be on that Budapest start line, however the potential to jeopardise my Olympic year makes this the obvious decision.

“I’m currently taking some down time before starting my rehab, ready to be back running safely and pain free by the end of August.

“Big thanks to all my team and British Athletics who have worked really hard to try and give me every chance of competing.

“I’ll see you back on the start line soon.”

Wightman explained the succession of injuries he has suffered this year has prevented him from competing.

He said on the Scottish Athletics website: “After suffering shin and hamstring injuries, one after the other, I am just going to be too far off where I want to be on the start line at the championships in Budapest in August, so I am not going to be taking up my wild card as reigning champion.

“It all began with a foot injury earlier in the year which saw me miss the European Indoor Championships – and things went from there.

“It turned out to be more than just a bump in the road. After some discomfort in my Achilles from where I had been wearing the boot, I arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona, for training camp pain-free.

“However, a couple of weeks in, I got a sore shin and returned to the UK, where I picked up a bad hamstring and that was the final nail in the coffin for my World Championship hopes.”

Olympic and World Championship silver-medalist, Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic, continued her unbeaten start to the 2023 season by outdueling American 400m hurdles world record holder, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, to win the 400m at the Paris Diamond League on Friday.

McLaughlin-Levrone, the reigning Olympic and World Champion and in the 400m hurdles, ran extremely aggressively in the first 300m before Paulino used her experience in the flat 400m to reel her in and cross the line first in 49.12. The American ran a personal best 49.71 for second while 2019 World Champion Salwa Eid Naser ran 49.95 for third.

Elsewhere on the track, Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, who set a spectacular 1500m world record in Florence last week, was at it again, running 14:05.20 to set a new world record in the 5000m. Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, the previous world record holder, was second in 14:07.94 while her countrywomen Ejgayehu Taye was third in 14:13.31.

Commonwealth Champion, Kyron McMaster, ran a season’s best for fifth in the 400m hurdles.

The BVI native, who fell at the LA Grand Prix on May 27, ran 48.65. The race was won by American CJ Allen in 47.92 ahead of France’s Wilfried Happio (48.26) and World Championship bronze medalist Trevor Bassitt (48.28).

Jamaica’s Natoya Goule ran a season’s best 1:58.23 for third in the Women’s 800m. Keely Hodgkinson took the race in a new personal best, British record and world leading 1:55.77 while American Ajee Wilson was second in 1:58.16.

2011 World 100m champion, Yohan Blake, ran 10.16 for fourth in the Men’s 100m behind reigning 200m World Champion, Noah Lyles (9.96), Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala (9.98) and Botswanan World Junior record holder Letsile Tebogo (10.05).

In the field, Jamaican 2019 World Championship silver medalist Danniel Thomas-Dodd threw 19.25m for fourth in the Women’s shot put behind Portugal’s Auriol Dongmo (19.72m) and Americans Chase Ealey (19.43m) and Maggie Ewen (19.26m).

 

Class One 100m favorites Bouwahjgie Nkrumie of Kingston College and Serena Cole of Edwin Allen both safely advanced from the preliminaries as the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships got underway at the National Stadium in Kingston on Tuesday.

Nkrumie, the national junior record holder and World Under-20 silver medallist, got left in the blocks but recovered well to win his heat in 10.51 ahead of St. Jago’s Tajai Duffus (10.88) and St. Catherine high’s Sajay Campbell (10.91) who both also advanced to the semis.

JC’s Caymanian junior record holder Jaiden Reid, who ran a new personal best 10.25 earlier this season, also secured a spot in the semis with 10.52 to advance second fastest overall.

The third fastest to advance was Camperdown’s Junior Harris who looked impressive for his 10.56 in the preliminary round.

Herbert Morrison’s De Andre Daley (10.65), STETHS’s Javorn Dunkley (10.59), JC’s Hector Benjamin (10.67), Manchester’s Javoon Blair (10.93) and Steer Town Academy’s Tay-Shawn Barnes (10.60) were the other heat winners.

The Class Two qualifiers were led by KC’s Nicardo Clarke (10.95), Herbert Morrison’s Class Three champion from last year Tavaine Stewart (11.00) and Muschett’s Johan-Ramaldo Smythe (11.02).

Pre-meet favorite Tramaine Todd of STETHS ran 11.09 to win his heat and safely advance while Calabar’s Shaquane Gordon is also through after an 11.10 clocking in his heat. Other heat winners included Calabar’s Khamani Gordon (11.34), St. Jago’s Detarje Morgan (11.11) and JC’s Dontae Watson (11.34),

In Class Three, JC’s Malique Dennis looked impressive running 11.06 to advance fastest ahead of STETHS’s Rodeeki Walters (11.54) and KC’s Jonathan Clarke (11.55). Other heat winners included STETHS’s Shaun Lewis (11.56), Cornwall College’s Thomas Daley (11.71), St. Jago’s Rayj Reece (11.64), Calabar’s Byron Walker (11.82) and St. Jago’s Kevon McKenzie (11.93).

On the Girls side, medal favourites Serena Cole, Alana Reid and Alexis James are all safely through to the semi-finals after convincing heat wins.

Edwin Allen’s Cole, the 2022 World Under-20 100m silver medallist, ran 11.57 to advance fastest ahead of Petersfield’s James, and Hydel’s Reid who ran 11.74 and 11.81 to win their respective heats. Other heat winners included Edwin Allen’s Tonie-Ann Forbes (11.80) and St. Catherine high’s Kamaria Knight (11.89). James and Reid also got medals at the World Under-20 Championships last year. James was runner-up in the 100m hurdles while Reid won bronze in the 200m.

Hydel’s Shemonique Hazle advanced fastest in Class Two with 12.17 ahead of St. Catherine’s Kaycian Johnson (12.19) and Edwin Allen’s Doniella Lewis (12.20). Other heat winners included 2021 Class Three double sprint champion Lavanya Williams of William Knibb (12.30), Bridgeport’s Brittney McCormack (12.24), Holmwood’s Akhalia Collins (12.24), Edwin Allen’s Renecia Edwards (12.26) and holy Childhood’s Abigail Wolfe (12.26).

Edwin Allen’s Theianna-Lee Terrelonge qualified fastest in Class Three with 12.10 ahead of St. Jago’s Poshanna-Lee Blake (12.47) and Vere Technical’s Tiana Oliver (12.53). Other heat winners included Natrece East of Wolmer’s (12.53), Excelsior’s Tashika Thompson (13.03), Immaculate Conception’s Kedoya Lindo (12.76), St. Jago’s Adora Campbell (12.69) and Excelsior’s Paris Pomings (12.67).

Class Four qualifiers were led by Maria Baker of Holmwood Technical (12.47), Giana Murray of Mount Alvernia High (12.62) and Naje’ Brown of Immaculate (12.65).

Moving on to the 400m, the JC pair of Malique Smith Band and Mark Anthony Miller led all qualifiers to the semi-finals for Class One Boys with times of 48.34 and 48.40, respectively.

Edwin Allen’s 2022 World Under-20 finalist Delano Kennedy also easily made it through to the semis with a 48.61 effort, closely followed by the KC pair Emmanuel Rwotomiya (48.89) and Amal Glasgow (49.13) as well as Jasauna Dennis of STETHS (49.31).

In Class Two, Daniel Francis of Alphansus Davis High was the fastest through to the semi-finals with 49.84. JC’s Tyler Ferguson and Holmwood Technical’s Omarie Williamson were the only others to dip below 50 seconds in the heats with 49.87 and 49.92, respectively.

Other qualifiers to semis included KC’s Tahj-Marques White (50.04) who won silver in the same event last year and Calabar’s Nickecoy Bramwell (50.46), who won silver in the 100m and gold in the 200m in Class Three at last year’s championships.

The Class Three qualifiers were led by KC’s Jordan Rehedul (51.63), Maggotty High’s Akeem Honeyghan (51.70) and Ferncourt’s Jevari McKoy (51.84). The Calabar pair of Christopher Ellis (52.56) and Malik Gayle (53.32) also made it through.

On the girls’ side, 2022 Class Three champion Sabrina Dockery of Lacovia ran 55.29 to advance fastest in the Class Two 400m. Holmwood Technical’s Rosalee Gallimore (55.70) and Hydel’s Jody-Ann Daley (55.71) made up the rest of the top three through to the semis.

In Class Three, Hydel’s Nastassia Fletcher (56.29), Excelsior’s Breana Brown (56.84) and Muschett’s Shanoya Douglas (56.90) led the qualifiers to the semis.

The Class One girls will only run semi-finals and finals.

Edwin Allen’s Tonyan Beckford (57.90), Hydel’s Onieka McAnnuff (58.24) and Holmwood’s Annalice Brady (59.50) were the fastest qualifiers into the final of the Girls Open 400m hurdles.

The Class Two qualifiers were led by JC’s Deandre Gayle (53.13), Calabar’s Requel Reid (53.21) and KC’s Taj-Oneil Gordon (54.49) while Class One was led by Edwin Allen’s Tyrece Hyman (51.26), STETHS’s Shamer Blake (51.63) and KC’s Antonio Forbes (52.80).

KC’s Ethan Gioko and Ainsley Campbell led the qualifiers for the final of the Class One 1500m. JC will also have two in the final as Kemarrio Bygrave and Nellie Amberton also made it through. Campbell and Amberton also qualified for the final of the 2000m steeplechase later in the day.

KC also had the top two qualifiers in Class Two through their Kenyan duo Nahashon Ruto and Brian Kiprop while Class Three was led by Edwin Allen’s Moses Johnson and Calabar’s Carlos Brison-Caines.

Alphansus Davis’ Alikay Reynolds and Edwin Allen’s Kevongaye Fowler led the qualifiers for Class Three girls. The Class Two and One races will be straight finals.

In the field, JC’s Uroy Ryan led all qualifiers to the final of the Class One long jump with a 7.35m effort in his first round.

The qualifiers for the Class Two final were led by JC’s Michael-Andre Edwards with 7.13m.

 

The Dominican Republic took gold in the Mixed Relay to close out day one of the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene on Friday.

The quartet of Lidio Andres Feliz, Marileidy Paulino, Alexander Ogando and Fiordaliza Cofil sped to a world leading 3:09.82 to secure gold ahead of the Netherlands (3:09.90) and the USA (3:10.16).

Jamaica’s Adelle Tracey ran 4:05.14 to advance to the semi-finals of the Women’s 1500m while Yohan Blake, Ackeem Blake and Oblique Seville all advanced to Saturday’s semi-finals in the 100m.

Seville ran 9.93 to win his heat while Yohan Blake (10.04) and Ackeem Blake (10.15) came second in their respective heats. American gold medal favourite Fred Kerley stole the show with a fast 9.79 to win his heat while countrymen and fellow medal favourites Trayvon Bromell (9.89) and Christian Coleman (10.08) also safely advanced to the semi-finals.

In the field, 2019 World Championship silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd needed only one throw to advance to the final of the women’s shot put with 19.09m.

Jamaica’s Wayne Pinnock advanced to his first senior global final with a 7.98m effort in the long jump.

 In just two days, team Jamaica has received news of two unexpected injury blows to start the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

2018 Commonwealth Games steeplechase champion, Aisha Praught Leer, has revealed via social media that she injured her left knee in training on Sunday, which later turned out to be a torn meniscus.

The athlete will, however, still attempt to compete at the Games after taking an injection to the joint.

"I will line up in Tokyo.  When I arrive I will get fluid drained from my knee and take a cortisone injection (this is legal, and my surgeon understands and supports me in this)

The unfortunate injury occurred during what she described as one of the ‘best workouts’ of her life.  The athlete explained that she felt excruciating pain as if something had torn.

“I tore my meniscus (a complete, off the bone root tear) on Sunday at training—a freak, shocking accident. I heard and felt a painful pop doing a drill but then proceeded to do one of the best workouts of my life. On Wednesday I got an MRI, then sat in quiet disbelief with Joe Bosshard as the doctor told us I need surgery ASAP.”

The always-smiling athlete is scheduled to compete in the 1500m that is set to get underway on Sunday, at 7:35 pm.  Naturally, she is heartbroken because she will not be able to compete at her maximum ability.

“I want to keep believing in the possibility of achieving the wild dreams I store deep in my heart. The reality is they will not happen in Tokyo—running to my ability is simply not possible on a knee without stability. This is the most challenging reality I have faced in my career,” Praught Leer said.

“We did nothing wrong. As I said, this was a freak accident. But now all of my silent work, the beautiful, hard-earned fitness, does not have a chance to see the light of day. The triumph I have visualized so vividly is—poof—gone in one step,” Leer lamented.

Although she understands that unexpected injuries are a part of sports, it is still a tough reality for her to accept.

“I understand this is sport—just sport. I know the truth that I am more than an athlete. But this sport means everything to me. This is my life’s work, my purpose, and my first true love. I am heartbroken.”

The athlete, who created history, being the first Jamaican to win gold in the steeplechase event at the Commonwealth Games, insists she will be proud to represent the country despite not being in top shape. 

“You will see me smiling in Tokyo with Jamaica on my chest because the honour of representing my country is one of the greatest I’ve had in my little life.”

On Thursday, news broke that gymnast Danusia Francis had suffered an injury to her left knee, which later turned out to be a torn ACL.  Francis will not be able to compete in her events.  She will, however, symbolically take part in the Uneven Bars event but will not attempt a dismount.

 

 

 

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