SportsThe Olympic epidemic of hamstring tears reaches Orlando Ortega

The Olympic epidemic of hamstring tears reaches Orlando Ortega


Orlando Ortega, on July 22, at the farewell ceremony of the Spanish team in Madrid.Kiko Huesca / EFE

First it was Fernando Carro, then Orlando Ortega. The hamstrings of Spanish athletes are not immune to the epidemic of ruptured biceps femoris, the most important muscle of the hamstring trio, which is sweeping through Tokyo. Some of the world figures have fallen injured in the stadium. Cuban jumper Juan Miguel Echevarría or British sprinter Dina Asher Smith, left their competitions crying. Fernando Carro, who broke training after a 12-hour trip sitting down that, he suspects, was to blame for his ills, withstood the 3,000m hurdles test for less than four minutes. Orlando Ortega won’t even try. On Monday afternoon, the Spanish federation announced on its Twitter that the national record holder for 110m hurdles (13.04s), and silver medalist at the Rio 2016 Games, will not start the first series on Tuesday (12.20) of the test, of which he is also a bronze medalist in the Tokyo World Cup.

In its announcement, the federation says that the athlete, who has not participated in any press conference or responded to requests since he arrived at the Olympic Village, asks for “respect and understanding.”

Orlando Ortega’s tough time trial to recover before Tokyo

The only Spanish representative of a test in which the Jamaican Omar McLeod, champion in Rio, is also low (he did not qualify) will be the Navarrese rookie Asier Martínez, a finalist in the 60m hurdles in the last European indoor track.

Perhaps Ortega, 30, would like to erase the year 2021 from his career. The hurdler from Artemisa (Cuba) had to interrupt his indoor season on February 7 after hitting a fence and suffering a foot injury known as Morton’s syndrome. “Basically, I have a pinched nerve between my toes. It is an injury that happens a lot to footballers, to athletes who have a lot of aggressive impact on their feet. It is not very common in athletics. Unfortunately it happened to me ”, explained his illness in EL PAÍS the Spanish champion, who took longer than expected to recover and did not compete again until June 27, five weeks ago. He won the Spanish championship with a mark of 13.30s, and the next day he embarked on a tour of Poland and Hungary, where, on July 6, he finished second to the great Olympic favorite, American Grant Holloway, and ran in 13, 15s, a brand already with a certain level to attend the Olympic Games.

According to specialists, the probable causes of the hamstring epidemic in Tokyo are poor adaptation to heat and humidity, the discomfort of the long plane trip and also the almost perfect state, in dangerous equilibrium, in which athletes arrive at the most important appointment of their careers. And those who arrive short, like Orlando Ortega, must force a little more preparation, which leads them to take a risk that they cannot avoid. If they want to win they have to be well, and to be well they have to risk. And participating without being well, without chances of victory, does not make much sense either.

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