Olympic champion Aries Merritt claimed an extraordinary bronze medal at the World Athletics Championships days before he undergoes a kidney transplant.
American Merritt, who was told he would never run again after being diagnosed with kidney disease in 2013, will receive the new organ from his sister in Arizona next week.
The 30-year-old got off to his usual explosive start and had an early lead before his lack of training took its toll and he faded over the final hurdles.
So very happy to leave world champs with a medal. The road wasn’t easy but all things are possible… https://t.co/3ncTQRX2KH
— Aries Merritt (@amhurdlestar) August 28, 2015
“How is that possible? I don’t know,” he said. “I just kept a level head and did what needed to be done and completed my race to the best of my ability.
“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 feat has inspired many.
— ALTIS (@ALTISworld) August 28, 2015
Sergey Shubenkov ran a Russian record to win gold, storming down the track in 12.98 seconds.