London 2012 silver-medallist and five-time world champion, Spaniard Javier Gomez, announced over social media this morning that he has been forced to pull out of the Rio Olympics after breaking his elbow during a fall while out on a training ride.
Gomez, 33, was considered a serious medal contender and the main rival to Britain’s Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, who earned gold and bronze respectively at the London games.
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Siento tener que anunciaros que ayer, justo cuando estaba llegando a casa después de un entrenamiento en bici, tuve una caída de esas que llamamos tonta, a no más de 15 km/h con la mala fortuna de hacerme daño en el codo. Acudí al hospital y las pruebas de imagen confirmaron una fractura de la cabeza del radio con desplazamiento. Hoy mismo seré operado. Este diagnóstico me obliga a renunciar al gran objetivo para el que llevaba toda la temporada trabajando duro, los JJOO de Rio. Siendo realista, no hay tiempo material para recuperarme totalmente y poder afrontar la competición en buenas condiciones por lo que lo más sensato es ceder mi plaza a alguien que lo pueda hacer mejor. Como imaginaréis, este es un momento muy duro para mí pero no voy a hacer un drama de esto, como siempre lucharé por recuperarme lo antes posible. Lo siento mucho por todos los que me apoyáis y animáis día a día pero, igual que muchas veces e saboreado la cara más dulce del deporte, ahora me toca lidiar con la más amarga. Gracias a todos de corazón. / I'm really sorry to let you all know that yesterday, when I was just about to finish my bike training, I had one of those silly crashes, no faster than 15km/h. Immediately I felt pain in my elbow so we went to the hospital. Scans have confirmed a displaced fracture in the radial head of my left arm. Going into surgery today to fix it. Unfortunately this has forced me to pull out of competing in Rio. I need to be realistic, there is no time to prepare and to be fit on the start line of the games. The most sensible thing is to open my spot and allow someone else the chance to race. As you can imagine, this is a really tough time, it's a goal I have been working for over many years. I will keep fighting, I still have many goals in this sport, I'm not done yet. I feel sad and disappointed to give you this news, thanks for the ongoing support.
“Unfortunately, this has forced me to pull out of competing in Rio… the most sensible thing is to open my spot and allow someone else the chance to race,” Gomez explained on Instagram. “I will keep fighting, I still have many goals in this sport, I’m not done yet.”
Gomez is considered one of the most talented triathletes in the world, having proven himself in both short and long course triathlon as well as XTERRA throughout his career. From 2008 to 2015 he stood on the podium of the ITU World Championship every year, with the last three years being consecutive titles. He is the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Champion and 2012 XTERRA World Champion.
The triathlon community around the world has expressed their sadness over his pulling out of the Olympic games. British Triathlon performance director Brendan Purcell described the fact Gomez will not challenge the Brownlees in Rio as “terrible news”.
“Javier is such a talented athlete and you want the best athletes to be racing on the biggest stage of all,” he said.
So sorry to hear this, Javier. You will be missed in Rio. Heal up, and we look forward to seeing you back racing! https://t.co/nVIVebjACt
— Bob Babbitt (@Bob_Babbitt) July 14, 2016
so sorry to hear this. It'll be a different race without you. Hope the surgery goes smoothly & heal quick!!
— Alicia Kaye (@AliciaKayeTri) July 14, 2016
— Jonathan Brownlee (@jonny_brownlee) July 14, 2016
so sorry to hear this Javi! We all know how hard you have worked. You will be missed!
— Siri Lindley (@SELTS) July 14, 2016