Francine Niyonsaba has been forced to pull out of the World Athletics Championships 2022 in Oregon because of a foot injury she revealed on Monday. The former world silver medalist had been entered in both the 5,000m and 10,000m events in the World Athletics entry list where she was seen as a possible podium prospect in the shorter discipline.
The 29-year-old has been in good form this season –setting the world-leading times in the women’s 3000m and two-mile run events. Read more: Updated: The Prefontaine Classic 2022 results on Day 1
However, she hasn’t raced since the Prefontaine Classics 2022 Diamond League meeting on 27 May and revealed on Instagram that she had been dealing with stress fracture issues for a month.
Although she is nearly recovered completely, the Burundian runner said she’s well behind in her preparations as a result of the injury and expressed that she was “extremely sorry” to withdraw.
“I am extremely sorry but I have no choice than to cancel “my“ World Championships in Eugene,” Niyonsaba wrote. “About one month ago I had a beginning of a stress fracture, me and my team we did everything possible to recover.
“I am almost ok now but I couldn’t train for all this period, so I’m not in the shape that can allow me to perform the way I wanted.
“I wish all my colleagues the best and I hope to see them all competing after Eugene.”
Niyonsaba, the 2016 Rio Olympic and 2017 London world championships silver medalist in the 800 meters, has been forced to move up in distance after World Athletics testosterone rules barred her from competing in the two-lap event.
After a disqualification in the 5000m at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, she clocked 14:25.34 for a personal best and national record at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels last year.
Niyonsaba also set a PB and national record of 30:41.93 when finishing fifth in Olympic 10,000m final last year. Read more: Updated – Caster Semenya to run at World Athletics Championships 2022
Meanwhile, South Africa’s two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya, who is also barred from contesting the 800 by the same World Athletics testosterone rules, will compete in the women’s 5000m when she makes her first appearance at a major championship in three years.
The World Athletics Championships 2022 are to be held at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene, from 15-24 July.
PHOTO: Francine Niyonsaba at the Prefontaine Classic 2022 Diamond League meeting. PHOTO: Randy Miyazaki