Olympic Triple Jump Champion Yulimar Rojas Suffers Achilles Injury, Misses Paris Games

Olympic Triple Jump Champion Yulimar Rojas Suffers Achilles Injury, Misses Paris Games

Reigning Olympic triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas has suffered a devastating blow to her career, as she has torn her Achilles tendon and will miss the Paris 2024 Games. The 28-year-old Venezuelan underwent surgery in Madrid on Thursday after sustaining the injury during a training jump in Spain.

Rojas, who won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the gold medal at the Tokyo Games in 2021, expressed her heartbreak in a statement on social media. “My heart is broken and I want to say sorry that I will not be able to take part in Paris 2024,” she wrote.

The injury occurred as Rojas landed from a training jump, causing intense pain. The diagnosis confirmed a tear to her left Achilles tendon. Rojas is also the world record holder in the event with a jump of 15.74m in 2022 and was voted the World Athlete of the Year for women’s field events last year.

The news has sent shockwaves through the athletics world, as Rojas was a hot favorite to retain her Olympic title in Paris. In Venezuela, she is a national heroine, with her face adorning frescoes and commercials. She is the only woman and the only track and field athlete to win Olympic gold for her country.

Fellow Venezuelan athletes and officials have expressed their support for Rojas. Ruben Limardo, a fencing gold medalist in London 2012, said, “Yuli, every step we take, we will do so in thinking that you are with us in body, soul, and heart. Warrior, you can rise and fly again.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also offered his support, saying, “All my love, my solidarity, my support. We love you and we know your commitment and your discipline. You are a warrior of life, an example for young people.”

Rojas’s injury is a reminder of the fragility of athletic careers and the challenges that athletes face in pursuing their dreams. Despite the setback, Rojas remains an inspiration to her fans and her country. Her determination and resilience will undoubtedly guide her through this difficult time.

Neeraj Chopra Targets Olympic Gold, Focuses on Pre-Season Strength Training

Neeraj Chopra Targets Olympic Gold, Focuses on Pre-Season Strength Training

Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra is in the final stages of his pre-season training in Antalya, Turkey, with his sights set on repeating his triumph at the season-opening Doha Diamond League on May 10. Chopra emerged victorious in the Qatari capital in 2023 with a throw of 88.67m, but this year, his focus extends beyond the Diamond League to the ultimate goal of retaining his Olympic crown.

“Defending my Olympic gold is my primary objective this season, but there’s still time for that,” Chopra stated. “Before then, I’ll participate in 3-4 events, aiming to perform well in each. That will prepare me mentally and physically for Paris.”

Since his last competitive appearance at the Hangzhou Asian Games, where he secured the gold medal, Chopra has undergone a six-month off-season. He trained in Potchefstroom, South Africa, before relocating to Gloria Sports Arena in Turkey, where he has primarily focused on enhancing his strength.

Chopra’s two-member team, comprising biomechanics expert Klaus Bartonietz and physiotherapist Ishaan Marwah, has expanded with the addition of strength and conditioning expert Spencer Mackay. Mackay previously worked with Chopra during his rehabilitation following elbow surgery in 2019. Recognizing the need to elevate his performance in the Olympic year, Chopra has once again sought Mackay’s expertise.

“I’ve been working on my strength and conditioning for the past 2-3 months,” Chopra explained. “My technique has improved significantly in clean and jerk and snatches. I’ve also commenced javelin-specific workouts. I’m eager to start the season.”

While the Olympics remain the ultimate prize, Chopra is not underestimating the importance of his tune-up events. He attributes this shift in mindset to his success in Tokyo.

“Before Tokyo, I was content with simply competing,” Chopra said. “I would finish fourth or fifth and be satisfied. But after Tokyo, I have this burning desire to excel everywhere. I want to finish on the podium as often as possible.”

Chopra’s consistency since his Tokyo triumph is a testament to his unwavering dedication to training. “I was never satisfied after Tokyo, but consistent results demand consistent training,” he said. “I relish pushing myself in training, and now is the time to break out of the 87-89m bracket and achieve consistent throws at a higher level.”

The reigning world champion also acknowledged the exceptional talent of his compatriot Kishore Jena, who he believes has the potential to surpass the 90m mark before him. He also praised Germany’s 19-year-old sensation Max Dehning, the latest entrant in the 90m club.

Neeraj Chopra to Begin Season at Doha Diamond League

Neeraj Chopra to Begin Season at Doha Diamond League

Reigning Olympic and world champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra is set to kick off his season at the prestigious Diamond League series in Doha on May 10. The 26-year-old Indian, who won gold at the Asian Games in Hangzhou last year, is aiming to defend his Olympic title in Paris later this year.

Chopra will face a star-studded field in Doha, including his well-known rivals Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic and Anderson Peters of Grenada. Vadlejch won silver in the Tokyo Olympics and bronze in the 2023 World Championships, while Peters is a former world champion and holds the fifth-longest throw in history (93.07m).

Chopra’s compatriot Kishore Jena, who finished fifth in the 2023 Budapest World Championships and won silver in Hangzhou with a personal best of 87.54m, will also make his Diamond League debut in Doha.

Chopra is eager to start his season strongly and is targeting a throw of over 90m. “This year, my personal goal is to defend my Olympic title, but it would also mean a lot to me to break the 90m barrier,” he said. “The Doha Meeting, with good conditions and a great atmosphere, is a perfect opportunity to get my season off to the best start.”

The javelin event has become increasingly competitive in recent years, with several athletes capable of throwing over 90m. Chopra’s continued excellence has raised the bar for Indian athletes, and he is confident that India is making progress as a nation in the sport.

“Last year my dream was to win the World Championships, but to have three Indian athletes competing in the final – that shows we’re progressing as a nation,” he said.

The Doha Meeting is the third meeting of the 2024 Diamond League series, which comprises 15 legs in total across four different continents. The first two meetings in Xiamen and Shanghai do not have men’s javelin throw as a Diamond League event.

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