The opening stages of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are already underway and it’s time to start looking ahead to the Games.
With the women’s 400m final on the line on Monday, the news that the defending champion, Julia van Kerkhovski, has suffered a suspected ruptured cruciate ligament is the latest twist in a potentially life-changing story.
It is one of the worst injuries to happen to a male athlete at the Olympics.
Van Kerkkova suffered the injury in the final leg of her victory in Rio in February, when she fell to the ground.
In an interview with Sky Sports on Monday evening, Van Kerkhovski said she had “never seen such pain”.
“It is really hard to say, I didn’t see the pain but it is definitely painful,” she said.
“I felt the ligament in my right knee but it was very sore.”
After about 30 minutes of the race, I was able to go to the doctor and he said I needed to get the ligaments out.
“The doctors were very worried, I did not want to go and I was not sure if I was going to be able to walk or run again.”
He said I need to have surgery.
“But he said that the ligatures were broken, they were leaking, and that they needed to be replaced.”
So we had surgery on the Friday and they were ready to begin the surgery today.
“It took a couple of hours but it went well.”
Van Korkhovski’s right knee is still injured.
The Dutch sprinter is expected to be back in action on Monday night.
She will then be allowed to race the 400m and 200m freestyle events.
The Rio Games are set to take place from June 8 to 10.