Kimberley Renicks: Surgery forces judoka to miss Rio Olympics

By Jane LewisBBC Scotland
Kimberley Renicks competing during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Kimberley Renicks competing during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Judoka Kimberley Renicks will not get to realise her dream of competing at this summer's Olympics in Rio.

Scot Renicks, 28, who won Commonwealth gold at Glasgow 2014, told BBC Scotland she needs surgery on her shoulder and will have the operation on Friday.

"I'm gutted - I can't really describe it," she said.

"The Olympics is your dream - it's the one you want to make. It's a knock back but I'm still young enough to pick myself up."

Renicks is Great Britain's top-ranked player at -48kg, but her world ranking has slipped to 49 while she has been unable to compete in two tournaments that also act as vital Olympic qualifiers.

The injury was picked up during an event in Turkey at the end of April.

"They've discovered bone and cartilage damage at the back of my shoulder," she explained. "So I need a tidy-up operation on it. It means I couldn't compete in the remaining competitions to qualify for Rio."

'It's not the end'

Kimberley Renicks
Renicks hopes to add to her Glasgow 2014 medal

Renicks first learned of the possibility that she would miss the Olympics three weeks ago. She admits to having shed a few tears but never thought of quitting the sport.

"It's not the end," she said. "I've still got a lot of fight in me.

"I sat down with my coaches and physio and they always say it's down to you. But you've got your career to think about onwards.

"If my shoulder's bad and I go into a tournament not at full strength and everyone is, then if I get injured more it could become a career-ending injury. You need to take a step back."

Renicks is already thinking about her comeback. She is hoping to be back on the mat by the end of the year and, long-term, has not ruled out qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

"I'm definitely staying on for the next two years," she added.

"I'm still young enough. I'll assess where I am after that and if I'm still up there winning medals and doing well in big events then I'll go for another two years."

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