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Lalova fully recovered from broken leg

20 November 2006

By Chris Galakoutis

Ivet Lalova, the 22-year-old Bulgarian sprinter who suffered a horrendous injury in Athens in 2005, has fully recovered and is back in training.

On June 14, 2005, Lalova broke her leg after a collision with another athlete while warming up for the 100m sprint at the Tsiklitiria GP in Athens, Greece. The next day, she underwent a four-hour operation on her right leg at a local clinic, after a planned trip to Helsinki for the medical procedure was deemed too risky.

Four nails were implanted in Lalova's broken leg, with the operation announced a complete success.

It was reported that the Greek Athletics Federation and the organizers of the Athens event covered all expenses for the surgery and the initial rehabilitation.

"She is fully recovered now and training at 100%," said Anton Bonov, a spokesman for the Bulgarian Athletics federation when contacted today.

"Her main goal for next year is the World Championship in Athletics in Osaka, Japan."

Upon her return to Bulgaria following the operation, Lalova was optimistic about a return to the track.

"I feel that I am strong enough to go through this. I repeat: I will return to the track and I will be even better than before. I need to be 100 per cent fit before I can do this. Everything depends on me now," she said.

Lalova has recorded one of the fastest times in the 100m, running 10.77 seconds at a race in Plovdiv on June 19, 2004. She finished 4th overall in the 100m at Athens 2004 and 5th overall in the 200m. She is the 2005 European Indoor 200m champion.

This past June, the Bulgarian Olympic Committee awarded Lalova the IOC's "Sports and Fair Play" prize for her conduct in the aftermath of the incident, when she declined to seek compensation from her fellow competitor or the event's organizers.

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