Val Constien learns injury from Diamond League event worse than expected |

Val Constien learns injury from Diamond League event worse than expected

The 2021 Olympian and 2023 USATF indoor 3000-meter champion will be sidelined the rest of the season

Val Constien sprints to victory at the 2023 USATF Indoor championships in Albuquerque. After struggling with injuries throughout 2022, Constien won her first national title in the race and signed a deal with Nike in April. She tore her ACL in her Diamond League Debut in Doha, Qatar on May 5.
Phillip Bond/Courtesy photo

Val Constien wasn’t gunning for a second Fracture Friday story on purpose.

A week after announcing her new Nike deal — and chronicling her substantial comeback from a post-Tokyo Olympics injury — Constien lined up to race in her first Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar.

Riding the confidence of claiming her first-national championship at the USATF indoor nationals earlier this year, the Battle Mountain alumna was forced into a heartbreaking DNF after landing awkwardly in the water pit on the second lap of the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

“Unfortunately, on water barrier two, I landed funny and hyperextended my knee,” she posted on Instagram following the race. “It was very painful, and I had to retire from the race. Hopefully, in a few days, I can begin training again!”

It turns out, the injury was more substantial. This past Monday, Constien said what she thought was a sprain was actually a season-ending torn ACL.

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“Obviously, this is a major disappointment. This season was shaping up to be my best ever,” her post read.

“But, being sad and asking myself, “What if” isn’t a positive use of my energy. I’ll be getting surgery soon and have to take some time away from running. Adversity has only ever made me stronger. 2024 better watch out! All jokes aside, I’m very nervous. Wish me luck!”

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Constien received warm messages of support from the running community in the comment section. Crested Butte native and fellow CU alumni Emma Coburn, a 10-time U.S. national champion and 2017 world champion in the steeplechase, wrote, “Dang it, so sorry to hear this, Val. You’ll be strong and ready for 2024!”

Other Olympians and international stars who wished the 27-year-old a speedy recovery included Rai Benjamin, Courtney Frerichs, Emily Infield, Elise Cranny, Trevor Bassitt, Abby Steiner and Kara Goucher.

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