By Phillip Whitten
FUKUOKA, Japan. July 18. OLYMPIAN Lindsay Benko, one of the mainstays on the U.S. World Championship team in Fukuoka, injured her knee in a freak accident during practice at a practice pool in Fukuoka today and may have broken it.
At this time, the extent of the injury is not known, but sources on the team indicate the knee is broken. If Benko is unable to compete it would deal a major blow to the chances of the American women's team in Fukuoka.
A team leader, Benko was a member of the USA's gold medal-winning 800 meter freestyle relay at last year's Olympic Games and was expected to swim the 200 free and 200 back, plus the 400 and 800 freestyle relays in Japan. She had been training very well all Spring and Summer and was expecting to swim fast here.
According to poolside reports, Benko banged her knee when she jumped into the pool and hit an underwater ledge, possibly breaking the kneecap.
USA Swimming has not yet issued a statement on the details of the accident or on Benko's condition.
To learn more about Lindsay Benko and how she became an Olympian order: "By a Fraction of a Second" by Lois Ruskai LINDSAY BENKO