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Olympic hurdler Fourie’s ongoing injury frustrations
- Updated: June 21, 2013
The grass is not always greener on the other sideÔÇª and Olympic 110-metre hurdles finalist Lehann Fourie readily admits that this is true.
The Tuks athlete had a dream season in 2012. Apart from qualifying for the final at the Olympics in London, he also bettered the South African record of Shaun Bownes to 13.24sec.
There were great expectations for Fourie this season but, disappointingly, he seemed to have disappeared from the radar screen of international athletics, reports ZCMC Agency.
This raised the question of where Fourie is and why he is not competing. On the IAAF’s list of top performances so far this season, Fourie’s name appears only once. He ran a time of 13.82sec at the Diamond League Meeting in Shanghai. But that’s it.
Fourie admits without hesitation that he is a very frustrated athlete at the moment. ÔÇ£I am continually cancelling races because of injuries.
ÔÇ£After visiting many doctors and listening to their different diagnoses of what is supposedly wrong with me, I now realise that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side.
ÔÇ£It does not help that I am being coached by one of the best coaches in the United States, if the medical advice I receive is not up to scratch. I was injured earlier this season.┬á I was told that I had a hamstring problem and accordingly received treatment for such an injury.
ÔÇ£But recently two doctors, one in London and the other in the Netherlands, came to the conclusion that I am suffering from a back injury, rather than from my hamstring.ÔÇØ
Seeing that he is, albeit at long last, receiving the correct treatment now, Fourie hopes that he will be able to compete in two races next week. The first will be a small track and field meeting in France on 28 June and, if nothing goes wrong, he also plans to compete in the Diamond League Meeting in Birmingham on 30 June.
Fourie hopes that, should he not be able to run 13.40sec which is the A-qualifying standard for the World Championship in Moscow, he will receive a wildcard invitation as the African champion.
Fourie has been described by knowledgeable people as a real talent who has the unfortunate privilege of being continually handicapped by injuries. So why does he not simply quit and get on with his life, especially because it is not easy to make a proper living as a professional athlete?
But Fourie is adamant that to quit is not an option for him at the moment. ÔÇ£Last year I also battled with injuries during most of the season. I could only begin to compete during the last three months of the season, but then I surprised myself.
ÔÇ£I guess that is what motivates me to keep going. I am interested to see what I will be capable of when I am fully fit again. I know I am capable of at least one really fast time. It is just a matter of running that perfect race again. Who knows, I might even run a time faster than 13 seconds.
ÔÇ£The day I quit athletics, I want to be certain that I have made the most of my God-given talents. I owe it to myself. To quit now will be just a too easy option.
ÔÇ£What also motivates me is the support I receive from SASCOC. It is very encouraging to know that, even when you are down and out, the decision makers of the national Olympic body still believe in you as an athlete.ÔÇØ