22 NOV 2002 General News 22 November 2002 – Seville, Spain

Sudden illness forces European champion Jiménez to miss Llodio

Antonio Jiménez (extreme right )sneaks inside a fading Simon Vroemen (centre) for European gold (Getty Images)Antonio Jiménez (extreme right )sneaks inside a fading Simon Vroemen (centre) for European gold (Getty Images) © Copyright

Seville, SpainAntonio Jiménez, who clinched the European 3000m Steeplechase title on 10 August in Munich, and was scheduled to compete this Sunday (24 Nov) at the IAAF cross country permit race in Llodio, was admitted to ‘Virgen del Rocío’ Hospital in his hometown, Seville, early yesterday morning, 21 November and underwent emergency surgery on his gall bladder.

Jiménez remains at the intensive care unit and will stay there ‘at least until next Monday’ a spokesman from the hospital confirmed. ‘We are optimistic on his progress, but it is still a serious matter’ he added.

The 25 year old Spaniard felt stomach pains while training the day before and decided to stop the session. Some hours later his father took him to the hospital as he developed a fever and his stomach became bloated. After performing a scan, the doctors removed the infectious liquid, which had accumulated in his gall bladder.

Only days prior to this incident Jiménez, nicknamed ‘Penti’, came 20th at the Soria cross country race in his first appearance of the season, far behind the eventual winner, World 10,000m Champion Charles Kamathi of Kenya.

Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF