Jessica Warner-Judd: Is there future for her in competitive running after epilepsy diagnosis?

Jessica Warner-Judd of Great Britain collapses during the women's 10,000m final at the 2024 European Athletics Championships in Rome.©IMAGO

Jessica Warner-Judd: Is there future for her in competitive running after epilepsy diagnosis?

Festus Chuma 08:18 - 14.06.2024

British runner Jessica Warner-Judd has revealed her epilepsy diagnosis after collapsing during the European Championships 10,000 meters final, sparking widespread support.

British runner Jessica Warner-Judd has opened up about her recent epilepsy diagnosis after experiencing a seizure during the 10,000 meters final at the European Championships.

The 29-year-old athlete collapsed with 600 meters remaining in the race in Rome and was rushed to a medical center, where she suffered another seizure, leading to her being sedated and spending the night in the hospital.

This incident marks the second time in less than three months that she has suffered a mid-race seizure, with the first occurring during a 10,000m event in the United States in March.

In a statement on her X account, Warner-Judd shared her experience on social media, adding that she is not sure what the future holds.

"From getting the bus to the warm-up track, something felt off. I don't remember much about the race apart from around 3k in, my head felt incredibly tight but I stubbornly persevered.

With 600m to go, I suffered a seizure, and when taken to the medical center I suffered a further seizure and so was sedated and taken to hospital where I spent the night," she wrote.

The athlete has now been provisionally diagnosed with focal epilepsy.

"It has been an incredibly tough couple of months and has culminated in me being provisionally diagnosed with focal epilepsy," she continued.

"I'm not sure what the future holds. But I just want to say thank you to everyone at British Athletics, my agent Caroline and my family and my friends for helping me through these last couple of months. I'm not sure what my year will look like, but I'm eager not to let this stop me and be back running soon."

Warner-Judd is currently third on the UK all-time list for the 10,000 meters, following Eilish McColgan and Paula Radcliffe.

She represented Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics three years ago, where she competed in both the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters events, finishing 17th in the 10,000 meters final.

At the World Championships in Budapest last year, she achieved an impressive eighth-place finish in the 10,000 meters.

This recent health challenge has undoubtedly been a significant setback for Warner-Judd, who has had an illustrious career thus far.

Her determination to continue despite her diagnosis demonstrates her resilience and passion for the sport.

The athletics community has rallied around her offering support and encouragement as she navigates this difficult period.

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