′Hero de Janeiro′ to be with German gymnastics team for final | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 08.08.2016
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'Hero de Janeiro' to be with German gymnastics team for final

The German gymnastics team have said that Andreas Toba will be with the team when they compete in the final. In qualifying, Toba continued to compete despite having suffered a serious knee injury.

German men's gymnastics coach Andreas Hirsch said late on Sunday that the team were determined to ensure that Andreas Toba would be on the bench when they take part in the final later this Monday.

"We will ensure that we have him in the interior area and that he is is with us," Hirsch said.

Toba ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee during the floor exercise in the men's team qualifying on Saturday but soldiered on regardless, competing on the pommel horse after his knee had been wrapped. This helped Germany finish in eighth place, thus qualifying for the final. Following an MRI scan on the knee, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DSOB) confirmed that Toba would not be able to return to action in Rio.

"We will definitely miss him on the horse and the rings, but we don't plan to stay in eighth place, Hirsch said. "The team is determined to give its all."

For his part, the 25-year-old Toba said he was determined to return to the sport as soon as possible following the necessary operation to his knee.

"Anybody who knows me knows that I want to return to the gymnasium as soon as possible," Toba told reporters at Germany House in Rio on Sunday night.

Asked about how he went on through the pain, Toba replied that "I simply can't give up, I was never one to do that." He also said that worse that the physical pain was the disappointment of suffering the injury at the Olympics.

Toba who in Germany has been dubbed the "Hero de Janeiro," said his "heart bled" with disappointment.

His performance on Saturday has drawn comparisons to that of West German gymnast Willi Jaschek in Mexico in 1968, who carried on despite having suffered a torn hamstring early in the competition.

pfd/ (dpa, SID)