Lisa Kearney’s dream of competing at next year’s Olympic Games in Rio have been dashed by a serious knee injury.
The Judo star suffered the injury during training and is expected to undergo surgery on ligament damage to her right knee next week.
She has already been ruled out of the European Games in Baku in June.
“Unfortunately due to a bad knee injury my quest for Rio has come to a premature and abrupt end,” Kearney tweeted on Friday.
“Thanks to everyone for the messages of support. The road to recovery will be long but with an amazing team behind me I have no doubt I will recover.”
Kearney competed in the 48kg division for Ireland at the London Olympics in 2012, losing in the round of 32.
She won bronze in the 52kg category at last year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Kearney – who is coached by Ciaran Ward – recently claimed bronze at the International Judo Federation Grand Prix in Turkey, an Olympic qualification event.
Qualification for judo at the Olympics is based on the IJF’s world ranking, where Kearney would have to earn a place in the top 14 of her weight category by May next year to make Rio.