Discus injures athletics officials

2011-06-25 14:04

An athletics official was in critical condition today, hours after she was hit by a discus during a winter athletics meeting in Pretoria.

Two officials, assigned to the javelin throw discipline, were hit by a discus thrown by national champion Victor Hogan.

According to Hugo Minnaar of LifeMed Ambulance Services, Basetsana Molobye was in critical condition after she was hit in the head.

Nelson Sambo had also been treated for injuries at the Mediclinic Muelmed in Arcadia.

“She (Molobye) was put on a breathing machine and is undergoing scans,” said Minnaar.

A distraught Hogan said he could not complete his remaining rounds in the competition after the freak accident.

“It feels terrible and I didn’t know what to do,” Hogan said.

“I’ve always said that I would quit if I hit someone.”

The discus and javelin throw events were running simultaneously, and according to Hogan, he got the go ahead to throw while the officials were taking measurements for the javelin throw.

Hogan said officials in the discus throw discipline indicated to the javelin throw officials that they were about to continue.

He then received confirmation to throw, and after releasing the discus, Hogan looked on in horror as it crashed in to the officials.

Athletics South Africa chairman James Evans said it was an unfortunate accident and they would investigate what led to it.

“As soon as an athlete throws, the officials have to put up a red flag to declare the area unsafe, so nobody is allowed to throw,” said Evans.

“Only when they’ve taken the flag down can they indicate to the other side that they can throw.”

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