UGA sprinter from metro Atlanta injured by javelin during track practice

ATHENS, Ga. — A Georgia track and field athlete is recovering after he was impaled by a javelin during practice.

Freshman sprinter Elija Godwin, who is from Newton County, backed into a javelin that was planted in the ground.

Godwin was taken to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, where he is currently in stable condition.

Channel 2's Sophia Choi met with Godwin's mother outside the hospital. She told Choi that doctors had to perform surgery to remove the javelin.

"The javelin pierced his lung and they took a camera in and carefully made sure all organs were functioning properly. The only organ that was damaged was his lung," Ginger Luby said.


The terrifying moment happened Tuesday during practice around 3:30 p.m, according to police report requested by Channel 2 Action News.

Campus police received a call of an injured person and arrived as the UGA medical staff and trainers were helping Godwin.

A teammate told officers that she and Godwin were doing backward running drills when he accidentally ran into the javelin.

“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 school statement. “Special thanks to our sports medicine staff, UGA Police Department, Athens-Clarke County Fire-Rescue, National EMS, and Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.”

Godwin will miss a big moment: going to the SEC Outdoor Championships with his team, which will be held in Arkansas this week. But his mother told Choi that a lot of them stopped by the hospital.

Luby said her son hopes to be back with the team and running again in the next couple of months.