Claudia Cummins’ final tumble on the individual floor routine was supposed to be a last hurrah before the Commonwealth Games gymnastics all-around finals, writes MARK ETHERIDGE in Gold Coast, Australia.
But a freak injury to her right knee means it’s turned into a lasting ‘EINA’ and it’s inevitable that she’ll need surgery on her return to South Africa this week.
Joining her on the crocked list was Team South Africa’s second artistic gymnast, Naveen Daries, the prodigious teenage talent.
Her problem is a pain in the butt… quite literally, and she also faces a spell away from the action.
Cummins says she knew instantly something was up. ‘It was the last tumble of my floor routine and when I landed I just heard something pop!’
The tragedy was that she had only around 10 seconds left of her exercise.
‘I just had a little leap-series and a bit of dancing which I so love.’
‘I’ve had a few niggles in my knees before but this is the most serious injury yet. Doctors say it’s my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and then I’ve also torn the meniscus in my knee.’
As for Daries, her problem was more a chronic one. ‘My backside was a bit stiff for a few days but on Thursday it really pulled a bit more.
‘An ultra-sound showed nothing but on Friday after my three apparatus events (it was most painful on the floor) it was really sore when I was doing the splits.’
A further examination and MRI scan then revealed damage, to the tendon and there was also bone stress which could result in fracture if further stressed.’
The injuries come at a bad time of the gymnastics season with African Championships coming up in Namibia and further down the line there’s world’s trials in July and nationals in September (Centurion, Pretoria).
Photo: The moment Cummins’ Commonwealth Games came to an end as manager/coach Ilse Pelser looks on, by Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA