World champion high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim will sit out the rest of this season because of an ankle injury.
The 27-year-old damaged his ankle ligaments at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial meet in Hungary where he cleared 2.40m but missed all three attempts to set a new world record at 2.46m.
The Rio silver medallist doesn’t expect any long-term damage from his latest injury.
“I am not worried and have got positive feedback from my doctors,” Barshim said in a statement of the Qatar Athletics Federation.
Not Taking Chances
He wants to be fully recovered before making a comeback and trying to defend his world champion crown next year at Doha.
“My biggest goal next year is, of course, the World Championships in my home country, Qatar.”
The World Athletics Championships 2019 will take place from 28 September through 6 October.
Barshim won gold at the worlds in London 2017 with a jump of 2.35m and was named IAAF World Athlete of the Year.
A Master of Consistency
The Qatari has been trying to break the world record for quite some time now. He narrowly missed it in Hungary, Barshim was very close in his first attempt but the bar fell in the last second.
The 2.45m world record of Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor has stood since July of 1993.
In 2017, Barshim became the first athlete ever to jump over 2.40m five years in a row. Not even Sotomayor, who holds the indoor world record as well, can match that feat.
On top of that Barshim stayed undefeated for the whole season becoming the first high jumper to achieve that since 2004.
And he got his 2018 campaign off to a great start as well clearing 2.38m at the Asian Indoor Championship on 1 February. Barshim went on to win silver at the World Indoor Championships with a jump of 2.33m.
His ankle injury will sideline him for the remainder of 2018 but he has not lost sight of his future goals.
“Winning Olympic gold is the ultimate goal for me. I have already won Olympic silver and bronze but still not the gold.”
But first up are the 2019 World Championships in Doha.
“I will not go for anything less than the gold. When you compete in your home town, you want to make a spark, which will later become a legacy.”
You can relive Barshim’s Rio 2016 highlights here: