Bengaluru/Doha, July 11: World high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim's season came to a premature end after he suffered an ankle injury during the Gyulai Istvan Memorial annual track and field meet in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, recently.
In Hungary, the ace Qatari, whose personal best of 2.43M set in the 2014 IAAF Diamond League meet in Brussels is the second-best jump in history, had stretched himself too much in pursuit of the long-standing world record of 2.46M set by Cuba's Javier Sotomayor in 1993.
At the Sostoi Stadium last week, Barshim equalled his world lead with an impressive second attempt clearance at 2.40M. The 27-year-old then produced what was in all likelihood the finest jump of his career, a narrow miss at a world record height of 2.46M.
Two more misses followed --neither as close as his initial attempt-- but he put a hush over the proceedings after his last, sustaining an ankle injury, which needs a surgery.
According to medical reports, Barshim needs at least three to four months time to regain full fitness before he can resume training.
"I'm not anxious and have got positive feedback from my doctors. The most important thing to me is to recover from the injury and be fit 100 per cent to jump again. I don't need to rush or stress," Barshim said in a release.
However, Barshim, who conquered the world in London last year with a jump of 2.35M, expressed hope that he would be fit in time to defend his World Championship crown next year at home in Doha.
"My target next year is to contest in the World Championships in my home country, Qatar and defend my title," said Barshim.
Meanwhile, Canadian triple Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse's season has also been cut short by a hamstring injury, the sprinter's manager confirmed.
"Recently while running the 200M semifinal at the Canadian Athletics Championships, Andre caught a cramp in his hamstring preventing him from finishing the race," Paul Doyle said in a statement.
"The MRI scans revealed a minor grade 1 strain in the Biceps Femoris. A minor injury, but enough to end what has been a rather tumultuous year for De Grasse."
A different hamstring injury knocked Canada's highest ranked sprinter out of the London Worlds last year.
De Grasse had said he felt a "little grab" in his right hamstring while leading his 200M semifinal in Saturday's race. The 23-year-old was hoping the injury was just a cramp but tests revealed the strain.
"I will heal quickly from this injury," De Grasse said in the statement.
"I will go be with my daughter and focus on being a dad for the next few weeks as I heal, and I will plan to come back stronger than ever."
(With inputs from QAF/Agencies)