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Burundi's Niyonsaba out of World Champs With Injury

FILE - Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi celebrates winning the woman's 3000 meters at the Qatar Diamond League athletics meet in Doha, Qatar, Friday, May 13, 2022.

Francine Niyonsaba dropped from the world championships on Monday due to a foot injury, just as she appeared to be a solid chance for her first major medal in the 5,000 meters after being forced to convert to long-distance races by contentious testosterone rules.

Burundian Runner Francine Niyonsaba said on Instagram she had signs of a stress fracture a month ago and, although she was almost fully recovered, she missed too much training. She added that she was “extremely sorry” to withdraw.

Niyonsaba is a former Olympic 800 meter silver medallist who was barred from competing in that event due to World Athletics regulations controlling athletes with intersex disorders known as 46,XY variations in sex development.

Niyonsaba won the 5,000m race at the Diamond League final last last September, beating two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya.

She qualified for the 5,000 final at last year's Tokyo Olympics only to be disqualified after her heat because of a lane infringement. She has said it was an unfair disqualification.

In Tokyo, Niyonsaba also finished fifth in the 10,000 meters final and entered the 5,000 and 10,000 at the worlds in Eugene, Oregon.