A freshman sprinter for the University of Georgia track team was recently pierced by a javelin in a fluke accident.

Elija Godwin was sprinting backward during practice Tuesday when he fell and landed on the javelin. Godwin suffered a punctured and collapsed left lung as a result, according to a police report.

“It was truly an accident,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Nobody threw anything or anything like that.” 

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The javelin had been left on the ground at an angle and Godwin was moving fast when he fell into it. The rear part of the javelin pierced Godwin in the middle of his back and just below the shoulder blade. Part of the javelin remained in Godwin’s body after fire and rescue personnel “grinded off” the rest of it. which Dawg Nation reported that the injury resulted in “a large amount of blood in the grass” and Godwin “spitting blood from his mouth.”

UGA director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson said a full recovery is expected. 

“We would like to express appreciation for all those who acted so quickly and efficiently in coming to the aid of Elija,” Courson said. “Special thanks to our sports medicine staff, UGA Police Department, Athens-Clarke County Fire-Rescue, National EMS and Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.”

Andy Berg is Executive Editor of Athletic Business.