Olympic Sports

Injured Praught-Leer to race in Tokyo

Aisha Praught-Leer is part of the Jamaica team at Tokyo 2020
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Jamaican 1500m runner Aisha Praught-Leer says she will still be competing at Tokyo 2020 despite tearing her meniscus “off the bone” in a freak training accident.

The 31-year-old picked up the injury on Sunday and was told she would need surgery.

However, Praught-Leer has decided to delay that until after the Games to enable her to compete.

“I will line up in Tokyo,” she wrote on Instagram.

The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the shinbone and thighbone.

Praught-Leer, who had been training in Switzerland in preparation for the Olympics, says she will have a cortisone injection when she arrives in Tokyo but accepts she will not be able to compete at her best.

“I want to keep believing in the possibility of achieving the wild dreams I store deep in my heart,” she said.

“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 added: “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.”

Praught-Leer, who was born in Illinois in the USA, competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio in the steeplechase, finishing in 14th place.

She won gold in the steeplechase at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia before taking silver in the 1500m at the 2019 Pan American Games.

The first round of the 1500m in Tokyo gets under way on 2 August.


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