“I Could Barely Jog”- USA Long Jumper Quanesha Burks Highlights Injury Pain Ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2020 Qualification

Published 07/19/2021, 2:57 PM EDT


Quanesha Burks has one of the most motivational stories heading into the Tokyo Olympics this year. The long jumped repressing the USA has come through every challenge placed against her and has pushed her way through to make it as an athlete, let alone a national one. 

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Working at the local McDonald’s eatery in her hometown, she used whatever money she made towards college or to cater to expenses that came the family’s way. Taking care of her grandmother and siblings, Burks made the best of the little opportunities presented to her to find a calling in athletics and making it her profession.

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Burks decided to try every track and field sport to decide which one she can master. The aim here was the get a sports scholarship in a good university rather than working for the money in paying the high fees. She excelled in the long jump out of all of them and decided to pursue that. 

Many believed she would qualify for the Olympics this year until a bone bruise on her take-off leg ruined everything. With this particular injury, getting a good spring would be extremely painful and difficult. However, Quanesha Burks made the team in her third try when she notched a 6.96m jump.

Quanesha Burks claimed she could not even jog for warm-ups

Now getting ready for the Olympics in Tokyo, Burks claimed that the injury was much worse than it seemed. She revealed that she could not even jog for her warm-ups a few months before the event.

“I can’t believe a few months ago I could barely jog to do a warm-up lap and now I’m getting ready to leave for the Olympics next week! Wow! God, I can’t thank you enough for being so good to me,” she tweeted. 

Quanesha Burks talked more about this injury in an interview with Sports Illustrated. She revealed that doctors were not sure if she would be physically able to recover before the trials. 

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“It felt like all the odds were against me,” she said. “At one point, my coach told me, ‘I don’t know if you’re going to physically be able to go to the trials. The doctors didn’t know if I would be back in time.”

Burks went on to play through the pain and registered a personal best jump to place third in the trials and qualify. In Tokyo, she aims for the podium and will be in better shape to make a better distance in her jump. 

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Luke Dias

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Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.

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