Artur Dalaloyan faces an uphill battle to make his first Olympic squad after tearing his Achilles tendon this week in training in preparations for next week's European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Basel, Switzerland.
“Unfortunately, Arthur was injured during a control training session with a partial Achilles tendon tear. At the European Championships, Arthur will be replaced by Kirill Prokopyev," Russian head coach Valentina Rodionenko said, according to TASS.
Dalaloyan has established himself as one of the world's best gymnasts over the past three years, winning the 2018 world all-around title and finishing second a year later to compatriot Nikita Nagornyy. Having missed out on the Rio Games five years ago, Dalaloyan made a breakthrough in 2017 when he won the Russian Championships. His one-two punch with Nagornyy was considered crucial to hopes of a team gold medal in Tokyo, the first since 1996 for his country.
Rodionenko says doctors expect a full comeback and a three month recovery.
“Today the athlete underwent surgery, which was successful. Doctors give favorable forecasts, they set three months for a full recovery," explained the coach.
With three months and one week until the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, time is not on his side, especially on events like floor and vault where Dalaloyan excels but that put tremendous pressure on his legs.