Discus thrower Natalia Semenova of Ukraine failed to make the final at the World Championships on Saturday after sustaining a concussion and a broken nose in a freak accident during the qualifying rounds.
Semenova was accidentally hit in the nose by Polish athlete Zaneta Glanc, who was miming a throwing motion with a discus in her hand.
The Ukrainian team said Semenova competed despite heavy nose bleeding. She made one throw of 55.79 meters but failed to reach Sunday's final. Glanc advanced.
“I’m so sorry at what happened to me today as I was in great shape and had strong results in practice. I was sure I’d be throwing in the final,” Semenova said in a statement released by the Ukrainian team.
Semenova said she had been asked by her coaches not to compete, but had to throw to show her husband and parents watching on television back home in Donetsk that “I’m alive feeling good and I’m the ‘Iron Lady’ as usual.”
The Ukrainian was taken to a hospital and received two stiches. Once the swelling is down, doctors will determine if she needs surgery, her team said.