Georgia sprinter impaled by javelin, full recovery expected

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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia track athlete was expected to make a full recovery after being impaled by a javelin during practice.

Freshman sprinter Elija Godwin was injured Tuesday when he and his fellow sprinters were doing backward sprints at the university's track. According to school statement, Godwin backed into a javelin that was implanted in the ground, causing the rear part of the spear to pierce his back.

A report from campus police said Godwin suffered a punctured and collapsed left lung. Rescue workers were able to cut off part of the javelin, and the rest was removed during surgery at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.

"It was truly an accident," Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. "Nobody threw anything or anything like that."

Godwin was in stable condition Wednesday but will miss the remainder of the track season.

The police report said Godwin "suffered a javelin wound to the middle of his back and just below the shoulder blade." He was backpedaling quickly when he struck a javelin that had been "left on the ground at an angle," which resulted in "a large amount of blood in the grass."

"We would like to express appreciation for all those who acted so quickly and efficiently in coming to the aid of Elija," said Ron Courson, the school's director of sports medicine.


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