A Georgia freshman sprinter had to undergo surgery following a horrific accident that resulted in him being impaled by a javelin during practice, according to an official school announcement on Wednesday.
Elija Godwin was impaled by the javelin when he backward onto it during practice, but he is expected to make a full recovery following surgery. According to the school, suffered a punctured and collapsed left lung during practice on Tuesday when he fell onto the javelin, which already was planted into the ground at the UGA track.
“It was truly an accident,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said, according to DawgNation.com. “Nobody threw anything or anything like that.”
Per the report, the pointed rear part of the javelin impaled Godwin below his shoulder blade. Rescue workers “grinded off” the javelin but the piece of the javelin that pierced his back had to be surgically removed.
Godwin was transported to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, where he had the procedure and is in stable condition. He is expected to miss the remainder of the track season.
“We would like to express appreciation for all those who acted so quickly and efficiently in coming to the aid of Elija,” UGA director of sports medicine Ron Courson said in a statement released by the university Wednesday. “Special thanks to our sports medicine staff, UGA Police Department, Athens-Clarke County Fire-Rescue, National EMS, and Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.”