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Sanchez racing against time to defend Olympic crown

11 August 2008
www.world-track.org

By Gary Smith

Reigning Olympic 400m Hurdles champion Felix Sanchez of Dominican Republic is suffering from a left foot injury and is currently running race on his own to be ready in time to defend his title in Beijing.

Sanchez, out of competitive competition for almost a year now, has been plagued by series of injuries since winning a silver medal at last summer's World Championships in Osaka, and although he made the trip to Beijing, the hurdler is praying for a miracle.

"I was ready for return to the top after having placed second last year in the world championships," Sanchez, trying to stay away from media, wrote in his blog.

"Instead, here I am, injured, waiting and praying for a second chance to run, trying not only to go there and win, but just to have an opportunity to compete."

"My goal has changed and that's very difficult for me to accept," he commented. "I have always had winning as my goal."

The Dominican is a two-time World champion and was a dominate force in the past before is injuries. The full state of Sanchez's condition is still unknown, but he noted that jumping the hurdles were his biggest concerns.

"My biggest problem with the injury is when I jump the hurdles," he said, adding that his current ranking is no bother to him.

A determine, but cautious Sanchez said he will continue to take treatments and wait until the last day, August 15, to determine whether or not he is capable of facing the starter's gun.

Should the 29-year-old becomes fully fit for to race in his specialty, it will take almost undoubtedly take something special from him to defend his title.

All his main rivals, which include Trinidadian-born American Kerron Clement, his compatriots Bershawn Jackson and Angelo Taylor, as well as defending Olympic silver medallist Danny McFarlane are running well at the moment.

But, like he did in Osaka, a summer ago to win a silver medal off the radar, Sanchez, if he is fit should not be ruled out of the medal racings.



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