Entry only if there is a chance of a medal
Mihambo trembles after injury for World Cup
07/12/2023 2:57 p.m
German athletics has to worry about one of its biggest stars, Malaika Mihambo is threatened with losing the World Cup. The double world champion and Olympic champion was hit harder when she attempted her fourth attempt at the German championships.
When Malaika Mihambo left the chief doctor’s room in the Heidelberg University Hospital, the long jump star was served. “Small muscle fiber tear” was the diagnosis after an MRI scan. “She has let her head hang a bit,” said her coach Ulrich Knapp. Because: Mihambo’s title hat-trick mission at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest (19th to 27th August) is suddenly seriously threatened by the injury.
Olympic champion Mihambo and Co. had hoped for some kind of cramp or strain, but now it’s clear: The 29-year-old injured herself more seriously at the German Championships on Sunday in Kassel. The muscle fiber in the left thigh was “torn half a centimeter to a centimeter,” said Knapp, now it’s time to train “calmerly” for three weeks – and that in preparation for the World Cup, which begins in a good five weeks. Qualifying for the final is scheduled for August 19, Mihambo is running out of time.
Germany breaks away one of the few stars
“Unfortunately we have to live with that now. It won’t be easy,” said Knapp, who, however, drove to training immediately after the doctor’s appointment with Mihambo: “We will give everything.” But starting in Budapest under all circumstances is out of the question. Mihambo will only defend his title “if she has a chance of a medal” and he will “not let Mihambo perform”. This threatens the German Athletics Association (DLV) with the loss of one of the few figureheads and medal candidates.
The injury hits Mihambo at the worst possible time. After a bumpy start to the season after an infection during preparation, the world champion’s form showed a steep upward trend. In Kassel, she jumped 6.93 meters to fifth place in the world before she had to give up her fourth attempt because of pain in her left thigh. “If I’m lucky, it’s nothing. If I’m unlucky, it’s a strain or a torn muscle fiber,” Mihambo said afterwards.
Bad luck actually came out. “Malaika was in a really good mood,” said Knapp, at the Diamond League meetings in Monaco and London she should continue to pick up speed. But nothing will come of it. Instead, ergometer training and light strength exercises are on the program.
And although Mihambo was struggling with an injury in preparation for the Olympics in Tokyo and was slowed down by Corona before the home European Championships in Munich, Knapp now said: “It will be the trickiest task of my career.”