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Russian runner Shubenkov withdraws from 2020 Olympics in men’s 110m hurdles event

Sergey Shubenkov was suspected to sustain an Achilles tendon rupture
Sergey Shubenkov Andrei Vasilyev/TASS
Sergey Shubenkov
© Andrei Vasilyev/TASS

TOKYO, August 3. /TASS/. Russian runner Sergey Shubenkov withdrew on Tuesday from the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in men’s 110m hurdles qualifiers, according to a TASS correspondent.

The official protocol of the competition states that Russia’s 2015 World Champion in 110-meter hurdles running Shubenkov failed to turn up for the qualifying session of the competition.

Alla Glushchenko, a spokeswoman for the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF), told TASS that Shubenkov was suspected to sustain an Achilles tendon rupture.

"We heard a snap during the warm-ups and suspect an Achilles tendon rupture," Glushchenko said. "He is in a taxi now heading for the hospital."

Shubenkov’s Coach Sergei Klevtsov told TASS that an ankle injury was the most likely cause behind his withdrawal.

"He sustained an injury during the warm-ups," Klevtsov said. "We are very disappointed, but we cannot say that there were no warning signs about this injury. This type of injury is permanent… We need to wait for the medical check-up."

Yury Borzakovsky, the head coach of the Russian national track and field athletics team, said Shubenkov complained of pains in his Achilles tendon 10 days prior to the team’s departure to Tokyo.

"He felt the pain in his Achilles tendon ten days prior to our departure," Borzakovsky said in an interview with TASS. "He was under a close supervision of our doctors and underwent a complete treatment. Everything was all right since then."

"However, the injury aggravated in Tokyo. This is his Achilles tendon injury from the past," the Russian coach continued.

"I am very disappointed how the situation developed," Borzakovsky stated. "It is very sad that he has no luck with the Olympic Games. I hope that he will soon recover."

Besides winning the 2015 World Athletics Championship in men’s 110-meter hurdles, the 30-year-old Russian runner is also a silver medal winner of the 2017 and 2019 World Championships and the winner of the 2012 and 2014 European Championships, in addition to his silver of the 2018 European Championship. Shubenkov also packs the gold of the 2013 European Indoor Championship in men’s 60-meter hurdles discipline.

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Japan’s capital of Tokyo are being held this year between July 23 and August 8. In March 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan for one year due to the spread of COVID-19.

As of today, the Russian national team of athletes in Tokyo — participating as Team ROC (the Russian Olympic Committee) due to international sanctions against Russian sports — boasts 13 gold, 21 silver and 18 bronze medals. Team ROC is currently 5th in the overall medals count.