STATUS QUO — March

THE LATEST in the aches, pains & eligibility departments:

Croatia’s Blanka Vlašić has left the high jump wars at age 37, sporting a PR just a centimeter off the WR. (MARK SHEARMAN)

A tight quad forced World 200 champ Dina Asher-Smith to cancel her plans to race at the Euro Indoor.

Mondo Duplantis reportedly dealt with a minor thigh injury in mid-February.

German hurdler Pamela Dutkiewicz cut her indoor season short because of a pinched nerve.

Matthew Centrowitz tweaked his hip flexor and had to sit out the New Balance Indoor GP.

Sprinter Teahna Daniels DNFed at New Balance when a hamstring tweaked: “I definitely caught it before it got any worse. My body was just fatigued. It was just my body’s way of telling me to relax.”

Long jumper Kate Hall-Harnden tore her ACL while hyperextending her left knee in a plyometrics accident. In February she had surgery, saying, “since the recovery is so long, the Olympics are out of the question for this year.”

British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson is planning to return to training in March after recovering from the Achilles injury that stopped her indoor season.

Greece’s Emmanouíl Karalís has returned to the vault wars after a season of playing soccer. “Happy to be back after a looong break,” he says. “Even more happier to perform well even though I competed injured. Due to my leg injury, I’ll end my indoor season here, rehab and get ready for the Olympics.”

British sprinter Richard Kilty strained a hamstring warming up at a meet in late February.

Texas Tech sprinter Courtney Lindsey made a big impression in his first season in the D1 ranks, but the 6.59/20.45 performer is done for the rest of the indoor campaign because of a hamstring injury. Says coach Wes Kittley, “That’s a big blow, but we’ve just got to do what’s best for him. I’m not going to put him in that situation. I think he’d try to run if I let him, but he’s too valuable.”

Former Michigan miler Jamie Morrissey says she’s making progress from an Achilles injury: “I’m just ecstatic about how my Achilles is feeling and the direction my training is going. Very proud of my tendon, he’s such a tough lil guy.”

French hurdler Pascal Martinot-Lagarde has ended his season because of a hamstring injury.

Anita Márton, the ’18 World Indoor champion in the shot, gave birth to a daughter at the end of January. The 32-year-old Hungarian is returning to training and says, “I’m not going to Tokyo as a tourist. I will only go to the Olympics if I can consistently throw 18m [59-¾] by July, and if I have a chance at making the final.”

The winner of the Japanese Marathon Trials, Shogo Nakamura withdrew from the Lake Biwa 26-miler because of peroneal tendinitis.

Solene Ndama, the Euro bronze medalist in the pentathlon, ruptured her cruciate ligaments at the French Indoor and will be out for the rest of the year.

Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega hit a hurdle in early February and dislocated three toes on his left foot. That ended his indoor season.

Anderson Peters is back to training. The World javelin champ had knee surgery in October. He says, “I have been putting up numbers that I never have before. I am stronger but the task is now on me and my coach to transition that strength into my throws.”

Katerína Stefanídi ended her indoor season after the Greek Championships, saying, “It has not been an easy way back from a year-long injury. We are excited to get back, rest and start preparing for outdoors a little earlier, but most importantly fully healthy.”

Decathlete Maicel Uibo withdrew from a meet in Estonia because of a leg injury.

After 2 WC golds both indoors and out and a silver and a bronze in the Olympics, Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlašić has retired at 37. She has struggled with injuries for the last 7 years and last competed in ’16, winning bronze in Rio. She retires as the =No. 2 performer ever, having cleared 6-9¾ (2.08) in ’09.

Ajee’ Wilson had a minor hamstring injury in February but was able to race soon after.

Hunter Woodhall, the double amputee who has run 46.22 with prosthetics for Arkansas, has turned pro.

Shot putter Zane Weir has changed his allegiance from South Africa to Italy.

Promising young Jamaican sprinter Brianna Williams stopped after the heats at the New Balance Indoor Games because of hamstring discomfort.


In The COVID Ward

Donavan Brazier had to miss the second stop of the American Track League circuit. After coming into contact with someone with C19, the world champion was forced to hole up for 5 days in a Fayetteville hotel room, unable to train.

Priscilla Frederick-Loomis, the New Jersey-based Antiguan who won Pan-Am silver last summer in the high jump, contracted C19 in January and has dealt with ongoing chest pains as a result.

Hurdle WR holder Keni Harrison had a bout with C19 at the end of January.

2:11 marathoner Matt Llano was struck by C19 in the fall. “I don’t want people to think I had a serious case,” he says, though he says it took months for his running to return to normal.

Nafi Thiam produced a positive C19 test and missed her nationals. “I don’t know if my first test was wrong or if I was already at the end,” says the reigning Olympic heptathlon gold medalist. “Whatever it is — and although it is a shame that I missed the Belgian Championship last weekend — I am happy to be able to train again. I will remain careful and I will limit my contacts.”


Doping Bans
8 years — Dmytro Kosynskyy (Ukraine, javelin);
4 years — Joy Loyce (Kenya, marathon), Marina Panteleyeva (Russia, sprints), Mouname Sassioui (Morocco, steeple);
2 years, 3 months — Sadik Mikhou (Bahrain, 1500). □

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