New kidney, new hope ...Merritt talks coping with his struggles


May 14, 2016
United States' Aries Merritt celebrating getting the bronze in the men's 110m hurdles final at the World Athletics Championships at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing, on August 28, 2015. (AP Photo)

... Merritt talks coping with his struggles


Eight months after undergoing a kidney transplant, world 110m hurdles record holder and Olympic champion Aries Merritt has admitted that it has been a struggle for him this season but is counting his blessings and hoping that returned health will bring returned form.

Days after winning bronze at last year's World Championships in Beijing, China, Merritt he was forced to undergo a kidney transplant. The new organ, which was provided by his sister, became a necessity after it was revealed that the US star had been suffering from a genetic disorder which left his kidneys operating at about 15 per cent during the World Championships.

That made headlines, but what is less known, is that the 30 year-old would end up back on the operating table some seven weeks later after as complications had developed that were basically crushing the new organ.

Merritt, told reporters ahead of his Shanghai Diamond League competition this morning, that he is in much better shape at this point, and though he still feels some discomfort when he hurdles, is expecting to be where he wants to be in time for the Olympic trials and a defence of his title in Rio.

"I am fairly behind as I would normally start training in November but I feel like I will be ready when I need to be. We've been training through all these meets, I'm doing workouts immediately after a competition and then I am doing workouts even still pretty deep into the season. Where I wouldn't normally be doing a lot of heavy conditioning I'm doing that now so it's like I'm months behind my competitors," he said.

"I'm still running decent and since the hurdles are so technical I'm going to try my best to technique my way through and as my speed starts to come online, I will transition my speed into my training, because I'm really strong right now, I'm just not very fast," said Merritt.

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