David Rudisha of Kenya suffered another setback in his attempt to become the first man to win three consecutive Olympic titles in 800m. Rudisha won the 800m title in both 2012 London Games and 2016 Rio Olympics.
Rudisha, who has not competed in almost two years due to knee and back injuries, twisted his left ankle last week at his rural home in Kilgoris, Kenya and underwent a succesful surgery on the same on Thursday.
With the surgery going through, the Kenyan is expected to be out for at least four months.
"During a walk on the compound the 31-year-old stepped on uneven ground, and initially believed it was not a serious injury," his manager Michele Boateng said in a press statement.
"He continued with exercises that wouldn't cause further harm to his ankle but after a lack of improvement over the weekend, he underwent an examination and was diagnosed with an ankle fracture at St. Luke's hospital in Eldoret."
Rudisha is one of the four men to have won back-to-back Olympic titles, along with Mo Farah, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.
After numerous setbacks in the past two years, Rudisha had begun training before the coronavirus disruptions and was hoping to be fit to defend his title.
With the latest injury and surgery, he will have to stay on the sidelines for a longer period of time.
"It's been very tough handling all these pressures. I want to put everything behind me and start from here, now that the injury is gone and all that is in the past, so that I can improve myself on the track," he told the Olympic Channel while attending the 2019 World Championships in Doha.
Apart from the injury struggles, Rudisha's personal struggles have been no less. He lost his father in 2018, survived a deadly car crash and the breakdown of his marriage.
Thanking the Almighty God for the gift of life.Saturday night around 1030Hrs I survived a tragic road accident at Keroka on my way home to Kilgoris after a head on collision with a bus plying Kisii Nairobi Route. I am fine with no injuries! Thank you 🙏🏻 for your prayers. pic.twitter.com/RZdwemLwXG— David Rudisha (@rudishadavid) August 26, 2019
At London 2012, Rudisha majestically led from gun to the finish line, to set the world record of 1:40.91.
Sebastian Coe, IAAF president and two-time Olympic 1,500 metre champion, described the run as "the most extraordinary piece of running I have probably ever seen".