Injured athletics official makes progress in hospital


THE athletics official who was hit on the head by a discus during a winter athletics meeting in Pretoria is conscious and making good progress, an ambulance service spokesman said today June 28).


“Basetsana [Molobye] is still in ICU, but she is talking and doing well,” said LifeMed Ambulance Services co-owner Hugo Minnaar. She had been taken off a ventilator, he said.


Molobye’s skull was fractured in on Sunday when she and another official, Nelson Sambo, were hit by a discus thrown by national champion Victor Hogan while they were measuring a javelin throw.


On Monday, Molobye underwent surgery at the Muelmed Medi-Clinic, where Sambo also received treatment.


Athletics South Africa (ASA) had been informed that Molobye was fortunate her injuries were not as serious as they could have been, its chairman James Evans said on Tuesday. ASA’s technical manager had taken statements from officials who witnessed the incident, he said.


“We will send out the safety regulations as there have been a couple of events where procedures have not been followed as strictly as they should have been,” said Evans.


“We don’t want to rush into anything yet as we need to find out first if anyone was at fault.” Evans said officials may have cut corners to speed up the meeting and ASA could avoid these kinds of accidents by slowing down competitions.


“We know it was a freak accident, but it is not supposed to happen in any case,” he said.


“The athletes should not be in the circle when officials are taking measurements.” After the accident, a distraught Hogan said had not been able to complete the remaining rounds of the competition.


“It feels terrible and I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I’ve always said that I would quit if I hit someone.”


Hogan said he released the discus after receiving the go-ahead from officiators once they had indicated to the javelin officials that the discus competition was about to continue.


“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,” Evans said at the time of the accident.


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

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