“As many of you know by now I was unable to start the US Championships two weeks ago because of a hamstring pull.
“I had been practicing the last few weeks in Seattle, Washington. We drove down to Eugene, got to the hotel, had something to eat and then went up to the track and just starting doing a light warmup. I was doing strides on the long jump runway and I was going to do two. My legs felt flat and heavy so I did four and on the fourth I felt my hamstring pop.
“I sat down and tried to stretch it a little bit and see if it hurt. For a second I thought it might be o.k. so I went back down the runway. I tried to do another one but after I took the first three steps I knew that something was wrong. I had less than 48 hours until the start of the decathlon. I spent the next 35 hours getting treatment - even on the morning of the decathlon I got up and was doing treatments.
“We were using a hyperbaric chamber, micro current ART massage, then we did acupuncture. We did everything we could to try and fix it. But we couldn’t work magic.
“It was a disappointment but, at the same time, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. I have been doing this long enough that you know it’s just part of the game. If you think about NBA players, they get hurt all the time, football players get hurt a lot too. It’s part of being an athlete. You learn to deal with it at an early age. So you move on.
“I have already started thinking about next year and how I want that to look. I want to come back next year stronger than this year.
“Right now the hamstring feels better. I have been doing a little jogging. I jogged the first time last week and it was sore the next day. But I don't have anything to get ready for so I can take it slowly and relax. I wouldn't feel comfortable sprinting on it but its o.k. to walk around and jog.
“My fitness was good going into the US championship. The only thing that was lacking was that I didn’t quite feel as sharp as I would have liked to have been. Everything I was doing was good. I went and did the Festival of Excellence meet in Toronto on June 11th, a three event competition. I ran the hurdles in 14 flat into a headwind and rain and cold. I vaulted a personal best of 5.10m. I ran a 400m, I think in 49 seconds, but it was windy and cold. I was pleased with that. I won that competition.
“Going into the US championships I expected to score about 8600 points. I might even be a little conservative. My coaches might have said, according to how I was training, I was ready to score higher. I can tell everybody what I was doing in practice but it doesn’t really matter at this point because I am not on the US team.
“I am still trying to figure out how it will all play out going into next year and my plans for next year. So we haven’t decided on whether to compete in a decathlon at the end of the season. With my coaches we are trying to figure out if it’s worth extending the season that long for Talence or whether we should just shut it down and get our rest that has been needed the last ten years. We are not sure which way we are going to go.
“No matter what we do this year we are going to come back stronger next year. It’s just unfortunate that it went the way it did this year.
“I don’t know if it’s really a silver lining. You make the best of what you have got. What’s nice is that counting my collegiate and professional career this was my 11th year training real hard without a break.
“I have put together some fairly good stats. If anybody has looked at my record they would probably agree I have one of the most decorated careers in track and field right now. I am a two time Olympic medalist. I have won the world championships indoors and outdoors. I have won three US championships. In fact out of the last eight US Championships l have started I have won six medals. This is the first US championships when I didn’t start in my entire professional career. I kind of feel I am doing all right. I missed one US championship.
“So I will put this disappointment behind me and we will be back next year, stronger and ready to compete hard.
Mauro Vinicius da Silva