STATUS QUO — October

THE LATEST in the aches, pains & eligibility departments:

WR holder Barbora Špotáková has finally wrapped up her long and productive javelin career at age 41. (MARK SHEARMAN)

Dina Asher-Smith finished last in the Euro 100 final because of calf cramps caused by her menstrual cycle. She called for more scientific research into menstrual cycles and athletic performance.

Holly Bradshaw ended her vault season after aggravating a hamstring injury in the warmups of the Commonwealth.

Olympic javelin champ Neeraj Chopra incurred a groin injury while taking WC silver and dropped out of the Commonwealth Games. He healed faster than expected and won the DL Final.

Emma Coburn found herself with a small injury in her back after Brussels, but recovered to finish the DL season.

Heptathlete Anna Hall will no longer compete for Florida, having signed a pro contract with adidas.

Sara Hall withdrew from the Berlin Marathon, revealing, “Unfortunately, I suffered a setback with my IT band.” She’s hoping to be back at 100% in time for November’s New York City 26-miler.

Greek vaulter Emmanouíl Karalís ended his season early to focus on mental health, saying, “For the first time this year I suffered a full blown panic attack which consequently made me sink into anxiety and depression for quite some time. I pushed myself very hard in order to reverse this situation, but that just made things worse… I am tired and I feel completely exhausted.”

Russian long jumper Darya Klishina says she might be done with the sport. “I think that I have realized myself in sports. Yes, I don’t have an Olympic medal. But in all other respects I am satisfied with my career and have no regrets about anything. But now the situation is even more complicated. I do not see its resolution in the coming years, so I see no point in hoping for something and training.”

German speedster Gina Lückenkemper fell after winning the Euro 100 and needed to get 8 stitches in her thigh.

WR holder Kevin Mayer, who won the WC decathlon gold, only managed 100m at the Euros, then withdrew with an apparent leg strain. “There is a fight between my brain and my body. There is a part that wants to have the gold and to represent France. I love championships, but my body and my mental don’t match right now.”

Eilish McColgan, originally set to run the London Marathon this fall, has postponed her debut until next year, after discovering a problem with “rebound hypoglycemia” affected her long runs.

Sandi Morris missed Lausanne with knee inflammation, but was able to finish out the DL circuit.

Katie Nageotte pulled the plug on her season after winning WC gold, saying, “Between the emotional struggles (that I can only describe as ‘post-Olympic hangover’), followed up by my Achilles issues, it’s clear my body needs a break in every possible way. It’s never an easy choice to pull out of major competitions, but I know this is 100% the right decision for my career in the long run.”

British sprinter Daryll Neita dropped from the Euro 200 and relay with a cramp after winning 100 bronze.

Sprinter Divine Oduduru missed the entire season with injuries, but says his recovery is progressing well.

Payton Otterdahl ended his shot putting season needing surgery on a torn right labrum, among other issues.

World javelin champ Anderson Peters sustained minor injuries when he was attacked at a house party in Grenada.

Miler Elle Purrier St. Pierre is pregnant and expecting to give birth in March.

Dafne Schippers withdrew from the European Championships, posting, “I’ve known for a while that the life of an athlete is not always easy. In Italy a new back injury has occurred, while I thought I was over it.”

Turns out the calf pain that forced Karissa Schweizer to DNF the Worlds 5000 was tearing in her soleus: “This has been a hard injury to process as I got very little warning signs beforehand and feel like I just got sidelined when I was in the best shape of my life. I’m letting my body heal as I just got PRP in my calf to help speed up recovery.”

Vaulter Tina Šutej spiked herself in the hand during warm-ups at the Euro champs. She won bronze, then went to get stitches.

Tamirat Tola, the World marathon champ, withdrew from the London Marathon citing problems with muscle fatigue.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, the embattled Belarusian sprinter who caught the world’s attention when she escaped her handlers at the Tokyo Olympics, has now been granted Polish citizenship.

Aliphine Tuliamuk dropped out of the USATF 20K with lower leg pain.

Olympic silver medalist Anouk Vetter had to drop out of the Euro heptathlon with an Achilles injury.

Ole Miss’s Sintayehu Vissa, the NCAA and Italian 1500 champ, has signed a pro deal with On Running.


The Retirement Corner…

After finishing 7th in the Commonwealth 10K, British walker Tom Bosworth retired before the Euros.

Only a year after turning pro Cal/Georgetown distance star Robert Brandt is done at 25. “I’m ready to hang up the spikes and dive into other passions,” he says. “I’m just excited to dive into my career and build a life beyond running.”

The owner of 12 U.S. Rankings in the 5000, 10,000 and marathon, Chris Derrick has retired at 31.

Quartermiler Natasha Hastings has announced her retirement at 36, saying “As weird as it might sound, this was actually a pretty easy decision. Track has been a huge deal for me, don’t get me wrong. I was practically born into it. And this sport has been good to me over the years. I worked hard, and that hard work has been rewarded — an NCAA championship in the 400, 2 Olympic gold medals and 11 World Championship golds. Countless moments of pure joy.”

Czech vaulter Jan Kudlička, the World Indoor bronze medalist in ’14, has retired at 34.

Nadine Müller, the ’11 WC silver medalist in the discus and 10-time World Ranker, has retired at age 36.

Two-time Olympic javelin champ Barbora Špotáková has retired at 41. “Every fairy tale has an end and mine had a beautiful happy end in the shape of the bronze medal from the European Championships in Munich this year,” says the WR holder. “My body made it very clear that it was high time to quit.”


The COVID Ward…

Ryan Crouser almost ended his season following the World Champs, explaining, “When I got COVID, I was sick for 8 days but what really got me was COVID-induced insomnia. I was sleeping 1–2 hours a night for 22 days and that really cost me most of my training base and some of my sanity. I stuck it out and I’m happy I did.”

Steepler Courtney Frerichs called it quits following a couple of rough post-WC DL outings. After Monaco she posted, “I came down with COVID following World Champs a couple of weeks ago. I felt we had been smart with my return to training and thought my body was ready to race so I decided to go ahead with my plan to race Monaco. About 1200m into last night’s race though, my legs were heavy and I felt like I was running through mud.”

Malaika Mihambo caught COVID after winning the WC long jump gold.

British sprinter Asha Philip missed the Commonwealth Games with COVID.


Doping Suspensions…
7 years, 4 months — Vane Nyaboke (Kenya, marathon);
7 years — Benik Abramyan (Georgia, shot), Tabitha Wambui (Kenya, distance);
4 years — Olga Samlyova (Russia, 100H);
3 years — Nesim Amsellek (Italy, 1500);
2 years — Aleksandr Ivanov (Russia, walks—in addition to previous ban), Alena Kiyevich (Belarus, sprints), Irina Tarasova (Russia, shot).

Ahmed Abdelwahed, the Euro Champs steeple silver medalist for Italy, has been provisionally suspended by the AIU for a positive meldonium test.

Dutch sprinter Solomon Bockarie has been provisionally suspended after testing positive three times for HGH.

North Carolina A&T sprinter Grace Nwokocha has been provisionally suspended by the AIU after testing positive for ostarine and ligandrol. If she is banned, Nigeria will lose its Commonwealth 4×1 gold (and African Record). □

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