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Spain’s Javier Gomez, a five-time ITU world champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist, announced today that he has been forced to pull out of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games due to injuries suffered in a minor bike crash on Wednesday. Gomez shared the news on Instagram, writing that he would be undergoing surgery today. Instead of trying to make a quick comeback, he says that he needs to “be realistic” and will give someone else the opportunity to compete. Gomez is the 2013, 2014 and 2015 ITU world champion and won last year’s Rio Olympic Test Event, making him a favorite to take the gold in Rio.
Though we will likely not see Gomez make the start at another Olympic Games, the Spaniard’s accomplishments in the sport are probably far from over. He already has Ironman 70.3 World Championship (2014) and XTERRA World Championship (2012) titles on his resume, and many believe he’s capable of competing with the best across the Ironman distance as well. Gomez alludes to future plans in his announcement, saying “I still have many goals in this sport, I’m not done yet.”
See the complete announcement below:
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.