Michael Johnson empathises with Yulimar Rojas following her withdrawal from Paris 2024 Olympics

Michael Johnson empathises with Yulimar Rojas following her withdrawal from Paris 2024 Olympics

Abigael Wafula 13:04 - 13.04.2024

American sprint legend Michael Johnson has voiced his opinion on Venezuelan star Yulimar Rojas withdrawing from the Olympic Games due to an injury.

Olympic triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas will not be defending her title at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, news that has sent shockwaves in the world of athletics.

One of the shocked personalities is American sprint legend Michael Johnson who empathised with the Venezuelan athlete. Johnson explained that it is a great disadvantage for the Olympic athlete since the Games are usually considered the greatest and most important.

Another disadvantage he cited was that the Olympics do not happen every other year and they always just come once in four years, a setback for the world record holder.

“The sad reality of being an Olympic athlete. Unlike other sports, there is no next year! You can be the greatest but you must be the greatest on the day to be Olympic champion. But that’s also what makes it so special,” Johnson said.

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Meanwhile, Rojas’ withdrawal comes after she injured her Achilles tendon during a training jump in Spain and underwent surgery in Madrid on Thursday, something that will take time for her to heal and get back into training.

"My heart is broken and I want to say sorry that I will not be able to take part in Paris 2024,” the 28-year-old expressed her disappointment on her social media handles captioning a photo of her in a hospital bed.

"I felt an intense pain, which has been diagnosed as an injury to the left Achilles tendon. Today I feel very emotionally affected about not being able to defend my Olympic title... but I must stop, take that in, recover, and return with a lot of strength to continue to fly together," she added.

Rojas won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and then took the Olympic title at the delayed Tokyo Games in 2021.