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Foot Surgery Won't Cripple Van Gerner's Olympic Hopes
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Recovering from recent foot surgery, Dutch champion Céline Van Gerner told IG she looks forward to returning to competition and earning a spot at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Céline Van Gerner (Netherlands)

Van Gerner, an all-around finalist at the 2010 and 2011 worlds, underwent surgery Nov. 8 in Amsterdam to fix the broken navicular bone on the top of her left foot.

"It took two hours, but it finished well," she said. "Two steel pins keep the bone together now. My foot is in a cast for six weeks. Afterwards I can slowly start again. In total my recovery will take at least 12 weeks."

Van Gerner had surgery shortly after last month's worlds in Tokyo, where she placed 17th in the all-around final.

"I competed at the world championships with a broken left foot," said Van Gerner, the one Dutch woman to advance to the all-around final in Tokyo "At that time I didn't know that it was broken. After we returned from Tokyo, I went to the hospital for a scan. In Tokyo my foot hurt really bad, but it was slowly getting better day by day, so I didn't expect something serious from the scan. Unfortunately I was wrong."

Van Gerner said she is tolerating her recovery fairly well.

"Happily my foot doesn't hurt very much, but I'm still very tired," she said. "Headaches are troubling me more than my foot right now."

Van Gerner said she will likely miss the Olympic test event taking place in London in January. The top eight teams in Tokyo earned automatic team berths to next summer's London Olympics. Four additional teams, including the Dutch team, which placed 13th in Tokyo, will earn berths based on their performance at the test event.

"I hope our team will make it to the Olympics," Van Gerner told IG. "If not, the Netherlands will have one ticket for an individual gymnast. Of course I hope to get that ticket, so it's up to me to do well at the European championships (in April) for example, or at World Cup competitions next spring."

Read complete coverage of the 2011 world championships in the December 2011 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe, click here.

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