With just 27 days left until the Tokyo Olympics commences, many athletes across the globe are running out of time as the qualification date for the quadrennial event inches closer.
Athletes are participating in Olympic trials and national championships in order to make it to their respective Olympic teams for the extravaganza in Tokyo next month.
Many of them have been punching above their weight, setting records at various ongoing events in the hope of representing their country at the Tokyo Olympics.
However, there are certain athletes whose dreams of competing at the Summer Games have been shattered. Some of them simply failed to qualify, while others had personal or injury-related issues. Representing their country at the Olympics is every athlete's dream, and so missing out on that opportunity is heartbreaking.
The list of athletes who will miss out on the Olympics this year also includes a few defending champions from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The champions who will not be at the Tokyo Olympics
#1 Mo Farah (10000 meters)
British long-distance runner Mo Farah will not be defending his two Olympic titles he won at the 2016 Rio Olympics after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The four-time Olympic champion's hopes of qualifying for his third Olympics in Japan shattered on Saturday.
38-year-old Mo Farah was competing in 10000m at the British Championships in Manchester as the final to make the cut for the quadrennial event in Japan. Unfortunately, he missed the Olympic qualification mark by 19 seconds (27:47.04).
Mo Farah's absence at the Tokyo Olympics will open doors for new Olympic champions in 5000m and 10000m. 10000m world record holder Joshue Cheptegai of Uganda will now emerge as the favorite for the Olympic title and British Mark Scott will hope to win a medal for Great Britain.
#2 Carolina Marin (Badminton)
Carolina Marin, one of the big names in women's badminton, was forced to withdraw from Tokyo Olympics due to injury. The Rio Olympic women's champion suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear during a training session, which will require time to heal.
The three-time world champion was considered to be a hot favorite to defend her Olympic title at the Tokyo Olympics. She was seeded fourth in the Olympic rankings for the quadrennial event. She had been in great form this year, winning four titles in the five finals she played in.
Carolina Marin's withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics is likely to witness the new women's badminton champion. Rio Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu, Japan's Akane Yamaguchi and Nozomi Okuhara will be in contention to win the coveted Olympic gold.
#3 Christian Taylor (Triple Jump)
USA's Christian Taylor is one of the star athletes who will miss the Tokyo Olympics next month. The two-time Olympic triple jump champion suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon during an athletics meet at Ostrava in the Czech Republic last month.
The 31-year-old is one of the best track and field athletes USA has ever produced, with four world titles under his belt. He was in a bid to clinch his third consecutive Olympic gold in the triple jump at the quadrennial event in Japan.
Christian Taylor also withdrew from the ongoing USA Track and Field Trials as he is in the process of recovery.
Christian Taylor has expressed his disappointment at missing out on his third Olympic appearance on his Instagram handle. His withdrawal will lead to other men's triple jumpers to vie for an elusive Olympic title.
#4 David Rudisha (800 Meters)
Kenya's David Rudisha is one of the defending champions who withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics, which is scheduled to take place next month. The two-time Olympic champion was eyeing a third consecutive gold medal in 800m, but his injury shattered his dream.
The two-time world champion had suffered a sprain on his left ankle in May 2020, thus leading him to withdraw from the biggest quadrennial event next month as he has not completely recovered. In 2019, David Rudisha was involved in a serious car accident.
At the 2012 London Olympics, David Rudisha set a 800m world record by clocking 1:40.91 in the final. His withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics will now see a new 800m Olympic champion emerge. Kenya's Ferguson Rotich and USA's Clayton Murphy are now strong favorites to win a coveted gold medal.
#5 Roman Vlasov (Wrestling)
Roman Vlasov of Russia will not be defending his Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The two-time Olympic champion in the Greco-Roman category failed to make the cut for the quadrennial event in Japan after losing to Hungary's Tamas Levei in the semi-final 77kg category in Warsaw, Poland.
The two-time world champion hadn't been competing enough internationally because of a lack of training due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Roman Vlasov was considered one of the favorites to win the gold medal in the 77kg Greco-Roman. His absence from the Tokyo Olympics will now have a new Olympic champion.