High jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim would miss rest of the season due to an ankle injury but the Qatari star is positive about his recovery and expressed keenness to defend the his crown at the IAAF World Championship next year in Doha.
On Monday last week, Barshim was bidding to break Javier Sotomayor's world record 2.45m in the Gyulai Istvan Memorial in Szekefehervar, Hungary, after clinching the title with his world-lead equaling 2.40m. He had won the event already at 2.40m. Off the final jump at 2.46m, the 27-year-old Olympic silver medallist turned his ankle, damaging ligaments.
The injury required an urgent surgery to recover and return to competitions and as a result, Barshim will miss the competitions this year and needs three to four months to get full fitness before resuming full-scale training.
Barshim was relieved that there was no long-term damage."I'm not anxious and have got positive feedback from my doctors. The most important thing to me is to recover from the injury and be fit 100 percent to jump again. I don't need to rush or stress," he said in the statement.
He added that he wanted to make sure he was fully fit before being ready to defend his world champion crown next year in Doha.
"My target next year is to contest in the World Championships in my home country, Qatar and defend my title," said Barshim.
The world championships will be held in September and October next year in Doha - the first time it is being organised in the Middle East.
In a release, Qatar Athletics Federation President Dr. Thani bin Abdulrahman al Kuwari confirmed the national sports body's support and conveyed best wishes to Barshim to recover from injury as quickly as possible.
"Injury is integral part of the sport world. We believe in fate and hope that Barshim will recover quickly and we pray to God to help him come back to the competitions," said Dr. Kuwari.
"Mutaz has a strong character and high spirits. Despite this severe injury, which will prevent him from competing this season, we're confident that he will regain his full fitness and return to action more stronger.
"Mutaz has got many achievements and glories for Qatar in Athletics. He is a truly heavyweight champions. All Qatari people love and support him to return to high jump soon," Dr. Kuwari added.
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