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Olympics-Athletics-Despite 'freak' injury, Jamaica's Praught-Leer to compete

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Jamaica's 1,500m runner Aisha Praught-Leer will "line up in Tokyo" despite tearing her meniscus on Sunday, an injury which her doctor said needs surgery.

"I tore my meniscus (a complete, off the bone root tear) on Sunday at training — a freak, shocking accident," the 31-year-old wrote on her Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/p/CRrRIaopoCe/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link.

"I heard and felt a painful pop doing a drill, but then proceeded to do one of the best workouts of my life."

An MRI confirmed the injury on Wednesday and her doctor recommended she undergo surgery as soon as possible.

But that will not happen before she runs in Tokyo, Praught-Leer said.

"I will line up in Tokyo," she wrote in the Instagram post.

"When I arrive I'll get the fluid drained from my knee and get a cortisone injection (this is legal, and my surgeon understands and supports me in this)."

The 2018 Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase gold medallist accepted she would be unable to compete to her best ability because of the injury.

"I want to keep believing in the possibility of achieving the wild dreams I store deep in my heart," she said.

"The reality is they will not happen in Tokyo — running to my ability is simply not possible on a knee without stability. This is the most challenging reality I have faced in my career.

"All of my silent work, the beautiful, hard-earned fitness, does not have a chance to see the light of day," she wrote.

"The triumph I have visualized so vividly is —poof —gone in one step.

"This is my life's work, my purpose and my first true love. I am heartbroken."

Despite the setback, Praught-Leer said she will proudly represent her country in Tokyo.

"You will see me smiling in Tokyo with Jamaica on my chest because the honour of representing my country is one of the greatest I've had in my little life," she added.

(Reporting by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Karishma Singh)

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