Jamaican runner Aisha Praught Leer says she will compete in the 1500m at Tokyo 2020 despite tearing her meniscus ‘off the bone’ in a freak accident last week.
The 31-year-old suffered the injury last Sunday in a ‘shocking’ accident during training and was told she would need surgery.
Praught Leer will have a cortisone injection when she arrives in Tokyo from Switzerland and although she insists she will race, she conceded she would not be able to perform at her best.
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“I hate that I have to tell you this,” she said on social media.
“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.
I will line up in Tokyo. When I arrive I’ll get the fluid drained from my knee and get a cortisone injection (this is legal, and my surgeon understands and supports me in this).
“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.

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“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.
“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.
"But I am also grateful my life is buoyed by unrelenting and unconditional love. Today I woke up loving myself (even my stupid-ass left knee) and I consider this a small victory.
“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.
“Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t lose.”
This is Praught Leer’s second games having competed at the Rio Olympics, where she finished 14th in the steeplechase.
The first round of the 1500m begin on August 2 and Praught-Leer was expected to do well having won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and silver at the 2019 Pan American Games.
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