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Lina Nielsen: British athlete reveals multiple sclerosis diagnosis | Athletics News

Lina Nielsen has revealed she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a month before her 18th birthday. The 400m hurdler didn’t perform at her best at last month’s World Athletics Championships due to a flare-up of her illness, she said.

Last updated: 03/08/22 11:09am

Lina Nielsen reveals she suffers from multiple sclerosis

British 400m hurdler Lina Nielsen says she hopes to ‘inspire people’ after revealing she’s competing despite suffering from multiple sclerosis I’m here.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Nielsen explained that he first suffered symptoms of the condition when he was 13, before being diagnosed a month before his 18th birthday.

The 26-year-old, who has kept her diagnosis a secret until now, was prompted to speak out after the World Athletics Championships in Oregon last month. It hit the eve and was no longer able to deliver anything close to the highest level of performance.

“I didn’t want to be known as an athlete with multiple sclerosis,” Nielsen said. “But I hope it inspires people. Now is the right time. I want to tell my story.”

“I was in the best shape of my life. I was 7 feet tall when I ran. The hurdles felt like they were on the ground. The timing couldn’t be worse.”

Lina Nielsen finished second in the 400m at the British Athletics Championships in June.

Lina Nielsen finished second in the 400m at the British Athletics Championships in June.

“I woke up the day before the race, put on my shirt, ran my fingers across my torso and noticed that my left side was numb.

“By the time of the race, my left arm and left leg had become largely paralyzed, so my left side was 90% paralyzed. I also started feeling weakness on my right side.

“It was the most important race of my life.

After taking a course of anti-inflammatory corticosteroids, Nielsen’s symptoms subsided and she is set to return to action representing England at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday.

Laviay Nielsen: Lina is a Warrior

Nielsen’s rise to the international level was followed by his identical twin sister Laviayi winning a bronze medal in Oregon as part of the Great Britain 4 x 400m relay team and a silver medal at the same event in London in 2017. Added to

According to Nielsen, side effects to Laviai’s Covid-19 vaccine led to an early diagnosis of MS in her twins, and “they were 90% sure” that she had it, but she still had symptoms. does not suffer from

She revealed that she initially held back news of the diagnosis from the twins for two months out of fear that she too would be infected.

Laviay Nielsen won a bronze medal for Great Britain's 4 x 400m relay team at last month's World Championships.

Laviay Nielsen won a bronze medal for Great Britain’s 4 x 400m relay team at last month’s World Championships.

“She was an identical twin, so there was a good chance she had it too,” Nielsen said. I had a feeling.”

After the article appeared in The Telegraph Wednesday morning, Nielsen received messages of support on social media from several other athletes, including the twins.

Lavia Nielsen wrote on Instagram: “Every time my twin sister races, I cry.

“I see a warrior. I saw someone have to fight a battle that a 20-something shouldn’t go through. And I’ve seen someone who sees life as the greatest gift of all.

“@linaruns… my better half.

“It has not been easy to share your MS story, but you will inspire many with your courage, strength and determination.”

Nielsen’s British teammate Dina Asher Smith also paid tribute, as did 2012 Olympic champion Jessica Ennis Hill.

Ennis Hill said on social media: “I am so in awe of this incredible woman.

“Continues to amaze me with all you have achieved on and off the track and what a truly lovely person you are! Thank you for sharing your story. I support you.”