Belfast Telegraph

Kearney vows to fight after injury puts Rio bid in doubt

Lisa Kearney has pledged to fight back from injury heartache after her Olympic dream suffered a massive setback.

Kearney suffered ligament damage to her right knee in training, ruling her out of the qualification series for Rio 2016.

But if the 25-year-old can regain fitness in time for next summer, she could still make it to the Games courtesy of a wildcard.

Lisa is expected to undergo surgery next week.

"Unfortunately due to a bad knee injury my quest for Rio has come to a premature and abrupt end," Kearney tweeted.

"Thanks to everyone for the messages of support. The road to recovery will be long but with an amazing team behind me I have no doubt I will recover," she said.

Lisa's coach Ciaran Ward confirmed: "Lisa will take no more part in Olympic qualifying as this type of injury takes about a year, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less."

The Belfast girl fought in the 48kg division for Ireland at London 2012, losing in the round of 32, but won bronze in the -52kg category at last year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

She recently took bronze at the International Grand Prix in Turkey, an Olympic qualification event, and had been producing some of the best performances of her career.

Lisa will also miss this summer's European Games in Baku.

She will carry out her lengthy rehab at Sports Institute NI at Jordanstown.

Qualification for judo at the Olympics is based on the IJF's world ranking, where Lisa would have to earn a place in the top 14 of her weight category by May next year to make it to Rio.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph