"It seems like a curse, but I cannot risk jeopardizing my next Olympic Games," said the disappointed judoka. "I hope to be back on the tatami at the end of October - beginning of November. A return on the mat during the Belgian championship on 2 November in Antwerp could be a possible outcome."
“Not having Toma Nikiforov at the IJF Worlds in Tokyo is of course a big disappointment for us. Further medical research indeed showed that surgery was necessary. We naturally hope that the period of inactivity will be limited to those four months. The technical staff will now prepare a new program for Toma. The goal, of course, remains a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games," said Technical Director Top Sport Koen Sleeckx.