Aries Merritt clinches bronze at the World Championships four days before undergoing a kidney transplant
In an act of extreme spirit and determination, USA’s Aries Merritt clinched the bronze medal in the 110m hurdles event just four days before undergoing kidney transplant. The 30-year-old clocked a season’s best timing of 13.04 seconds to finish third. Russia’s Sergey Shubenkow clinched the gold with a timing of 12.80 seconds while another Jamaican featured in the top 3 once agin, Hansle Parchment who finished second with a timing of 13.03 seconds, Aljazeera reported.
When Merrit was asked how did he pull it off, Merrit said instead of worrying about the ailment, he instead focussed his energies on the job at hand.
"How is that possible? I don't know. I just kept a level head and did what needed to be done and completed my race to the best of my ability,” said Merritt
"But given the circumstances, I think it was my best race of the year and I came away with a medal, just as I had hoped to. It almost means more to me than my Olympic gold, the state I'm in, the training I've done, it's been very difficult, very hard. The struggle is real.”
Merritt was diagnosed with the disease first in 2013 and is set to get his new organ from his sister when the transplant happens in Arizona next week.
Not fully sure about my participation in Rio: Merritt
Talking about his chances at the 2016 Rio Olympic next year, Merrit said that he wasn't sure whether he would make the cut to defend his 110m hurdles title and added that he would remain positive about making it to Rio despite knowing that his chances of doing so aren't as high as he wished it would be.
"I don't know. If I recover quickly, you'll see me back soon, if I don't you know I'm still recovering. There's a chance that you won't see me next year, but I'm going to be optimistic and say I hope to see you in Rio," he concluded.
The American currently holds the world record in the 110 metres hurdles with a time of 12.80 seconds which he set back in 2012. He also participates in other events like the 200 metres and the 400 metres hurdles, but the 110 metres hurdles is his primary sport. Fans of the sport would be hoping for a speedy recovery for Merritt so he can enthrall the crowd in Rio at the 2016 Olympics.