For Desirèe Henry, her recent victory at the Great North CityGames was even more special as it came at the end of what has proven to be a challenging season for the sprinter.

The 22-year-old formed part of GB’s world silver medal-winning 4x100m team at the IAAF World Championships in London, where she also reached the semi-finals of the 100m, and her 11.09 from April has remained the UK lead during the summer. But Henry has been managing knee pain throughout and is now considering her options in order to get the problem sorted long-term.

“This year was extremely hard in terms of managing my pain,” explains the Rana Reider-coached athlete.

“I think in a few weeks I’ll have to talk to my coach and the head of British Athletics and surgery may be one of the options, because this year has been extremely hard.

“I have two cysts behind my knees, they are small little nodules,” she adds. “They hurt every time I straighten or push off and that is pretty much crucial in the first 10 to 15 metres of a sprint! You may have noticed this year I haven’t been able to get out as hard.

“Given that it was the World Championships this year, I didn’t want to miss it but I didn’t want to be selfish – I knew it was an injury that I could push through if I needed to and I was able to do that. We got a silver medal so I know I didn’t compromise the team at that point. So now it’s about focusing on myself and getting myself fit and strong and healthy for years to come.”

Speaking after her 100m win on the Gateshead Quayside, where she clocked 11.61 (-1.4), Henry added: “For me to come here today and have some fun, it’s just what I needed going into what could be a big surgery.”

Source: Jessica Whittington| AW