There have been many stories of Athletes who have toiled for four years to make the Olympic Games in London, only for something to go wrong when their event starts and our heart bleeds for many of them.
One is Chinese hurdler and 2004 Athens gold medallist Liu Xiang. At his home games in Beijing in 2008 he went into the games with the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, but also carrying an Achilles tendon injury. He never made it to the first hurdle, as he did further damage to it breaking from the blocks. London was supposed to be his redemption, but once again his Olympics finished at the first hurdle. Again he had an Achilles problem and that has been blamed for him losing power at the first hurdle and his front foot catching the hurdle, forcing him to fall and his race to be over. One thing is for sure he will not be forgotten, and sadly will be remembered more for trying to recapture the golden moment in Athens rather than for that success.
Incredibly in the same heat as Liu Xiang, only six of the nine starters finished. In Heat 3 there was more drama when Madagascar’s Kame Ali was disqualified for false start, without even getting to run on the Olympic track. In that same heat Bahamian record holder Shamar Sands fell and was out of the Games. He was disqualified for a lane violation as he had disadvantaged and impeded French athlete Ladji Docoure between hurdles 6 and 7. The French appealed as Doucoure had missed qualification, their appeal was upheld and the good news for Docoure was he was through to the next round.
However probably the worst story of an athlete missing out is Angolan Heavyweight boxer Tumba Silva. Silva is trained by former World Super Middleweight Champion Briton Chris Eubank, who set up a boxing academy in Angola. He was disqualified for failing to turn up to the weigh in for his fight and was out of the games without throwing a punch, his opponent Italian Clemente Russo being awarded a Walkover. It transpires that his coach, Eubank thought the weigh in was in the evening when it was in the morning.
Head of Angola’s Olympic team Antonio Monteira has claimed Eubank failed to attend the technical meeting and has branded him a “Plonker.” He also stated that Silva broke down and cried like a child when told of what had happened and was inconsolable. One hopes he manages to return in Rio, or uses this to inspire him to a successful professional career.