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World Shot Put Champion Undergoes Knee Surgery

World Shot Put Champion Undergoes Knee Surgery

September 07, 2000  

By the Associated Press -- C.J. Hunter, the 1999 world shot put champion and husband of Marion Jones, has undergone knee surgery, leaving him doubtful for the Olympic Games.

"I still hope to be throwing on the 22nd," Hunter said Thursday night.

The 22nd is the first day of track and field competition at Sydney and the shot put is the first event.

The 330-pound Hunter, the biggest athlete on the track and field team, was operated on last Sunday by Dr. Tim Taft at the University of North Carolina Medical Center.

"Dr. Taft and I set the goal of getting myself healed in time for the Olympics," Hunter said.

Hunter tore the meniscus in his left knee during a weight training session before the IAAF Grand Prix meet at London last month. He continued to compete and train, thinking the problem was a recurrence of tendinitis in the knee.

During the Aug. 25 Grand Prix meet at Berlin, the pain became so severe that he passed his final two attempts, after fouling on three of his previous four tries.

If Hunter, the runner-up at the U.S. Olympic trials with a career-best throw of 71 feet, 9 inches, cannot compete, he would be replaced by John Godina, the fourth-place finisher at the trials and the silver medalist at the 1996 Olympics. Godina also is competing in the discus.

Hunter was ranked No. 1 in the world last year after winning the world championship at 71-6, his best going into this year. He also was the bronze medalist at the 1997 World Championships, a three-time U.S. champion and the 1995 world indoor silver medalist. He finished seventh at the 1996 Olympics.

Jones is attempting to win a record five gold medals at the games -- in the 100 and 200 meters, the long jump, and the 400 and 1,600 relays. Her first event, the first heat of the 100, also is Sept. 22.

Photo courtesy of PicturesNow.com

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