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Oksana Chusovitina, 48-year-old gymnast, to miss last Olympic qualifier due to injury

Oksana Chusovitina

Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina reacts after competing in the artistic gymnastics vault event of the women’s qualification during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 25, 2021. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Gymnast Oksana Chusovitina will miss an Olympics for the first time since the 1988 Seoul Games after sustaining an injury in training, ruling the 48-year-old out of the Asian Championships, her last qualifying opportunity for the Paris Games.

“I will not be able to take part and I am very upset as I have been preparing for this competition for a long time,” was posted on Chusovitina’s social media.

Chusovitina’s chances of qualifying for a gymnastics record-extending ninth Olympics in Paris would have been slim had she been able to compete on Friday in Tashkent, the capital of her home country of Uzbekistan.

One Olympic spot is available to the highest-placing eligible athlete in the all-around. Chusovitina, a vault specialist, placed 18th in the all-around at the 2023 Asian Championships.

“I started doing all-around and I wanted to perform in our country, in front of our fans,” was posted on Chusovitina’s account. “But, unfortunately, tomorrow you will not see me among the participants. I would like to express my gratitude to all of you, but you can come and support our girls. That’s what I’m going to do tomorrow!”

Chusovitina began her gymnastics career more than three decades ago competing for the Soviet Union.

She won world team and floor exercise titles for the Soviets in 1991, Olympic team gold for the Unified Team in 1992 and a world title on vault for Uzbekistan in 2003.

In Tokyo in 2021, Chusovitina became the oldest female gymnast to compete at an Olympics, according to the OlyMADMen.