MONTREAL (AFP) - Romanian star Larisa Iordache withdrew from the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships on Wednesday (Oct 4) after suffering an injury during a warm-up.
The 21-year-old from Bucharest had been considered one of the favourites for the all-around title in Montreal in the absence of reigning champion Simone Biles of the United States.
Iordache was seen in tears as she was led out of the competition arena in a wheelchair after sustaining the leg injury during a warm-up for the floor exercise.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) later cited the Romanian Gymnastics Federation as saying that Iordache had suffered a torn Achilles tendon.
Iordache won the all-around bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow and had earned a silver in the same discipline in Nanning in 2014.
She missed out on competing at last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics after breaking a finger in March.
Iordache's withdrawal on Wednesday further depletes the women's field, already missing Biles and several other stars of the USA Olympic team.
US gymnast Aly Raisman, who like Biles is not competing in Montreal, was one of several stars to express sympathy with Iordache on social media.
"So sad for @Larisa-Iordache hang in there," Raisman wrote on Twitter. "You will get through this. Sending you so much love."
British gymnast Claudia Fragapane added: "My heart breaks for @Larisa-Iordache."
Iordache's exit is one of several injuries which have struck competitors this week.
On Monday, Japanese star Kohei Uchimura, the six-time defending world all-around champion was injured in qualifying and withdrew.
Brazil's Rebeca Andrade, another seen as a possible medal contender in the women's all-around, suffered a knee ligament injury and also withdrew.
The men's individual all-around final takes place on Thursday with the women's medals decided on Friday. The apparatus finals take place on Saturday and Sunday.