James Dasaolu: British public saved my career, says Olympic sprinter
Sprinter James Dasaolu says the British public has "saved" his career after a crowd-funding campaign raised the £9,000 he needed for surgery.
The unfunded athlete ruptured his Achilles tendon last month and was informed that an advanced procedure was needed if he was to have any chance of returning for the 2020 Olympics.
He will have the procedure on Monday.
"Without the contributions I wouldn't have been able to continue in the sport," he told BBC Sport.
Rehabilitation for people who suffer fully ruptured Achilles tendons can take up to two years, but advanced techniques can reduce that to six to 12 months.
Winter Olympian John Jackson had a similar procedure less than a year before the Sochi 2014 Games and made a rapid recovery.
"The British public have saved my career because without their support I wouldn't have been able to afford the surgery," he said.
"I'm truly overwhelmed by the support from them and also my team-mates."
Dasaolu, a two-time Olympian and the second-quickest British 100m sprinter of all time - with a personal best of 9.91 seconds - lost his athlete funding after failing to progress beyond the semi-finals at Rio 2016.
A host of fellow British track athletes have donated to his campaign and so far more than £13,500 has been raised.
However, Dasaolu says surgery is only the first step in his recovery and hopes the fundraising will continue as he targets the £25,000 it is estimated will be required to pay for the aftercare, which will ensure he can return to action.
"Surgery was the first obstacle which I have manage to overcome with the help of the public," the two-time European champion said. "The next stage will be rehabilitation stage.
"I'm very optimistic going into the operation."