Injured Goldie Sayers backed to win Olympic medal
26 July 2012
Loughborough graduate Goldie Sayers can win an Olympic javelin medal despite an elbow injury, according to British great Steve Backley.
Goldie broke her own British record by throwing 66.17 metres with her first attempt at the London Grand Prix just over a week ago but tore a ligament on her fourth throw.
Goldie, a former Loughborough Scholar, graduated in Sport and Exercise Science in 2005.
The 30-year-old, who is training with Team GB at a camp in Portugal, said the injury had ‘responded very well to treatment’ and she had resumed training.
Backley, who won two Olympic silvers and a bronze, believes Goldie still has a chance of a medal.
“It’s no great revelation that an athlete gets injured,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.
“It’s very common. It’s stuff that you learn to deal with. It’s more about how these athletes cope with them.
“When you talk about an injured elbow in javelin, it is so typical. You have got an injured elbow a lot of the time. Permanent damage? With soft tissue, is there such a thing? The body heals.
“Absolutely there is (a chance of Sayers getting a medal). It might just be the thing that focuses her mind and brings everything in tune.
“It’s not all bad. It won’t necessarily give her the freedom to just walk into there and be completely confident.
“A lot of the athletes carry niggles. It’s how they cope with it. The British team has a wonderful medical team around it and she will be given the best support she possibly can.
“The challenge for her is getting through qualification. If she can do that she has got a chance in the final.”
Another Loughborough graduate, Paula Radcliffe, has been struggling with a foot problem ahead of the marathon.
And UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee says the world record holder’s chances of challenging for a medal are 50-50.
He said: “Paula is always a concern. She is on a thin line every day for the last decade. Nothing has changed.”
Asked if Paula would be fit enough to compete in London, he added: “Shall we flip a coin? Paula is Paula.”
Paula, 38, won marathon gold at the World Championships in 2005, but has never won an Olympic medal.
Speaking earlier this month, Paula said the foot problem that forced her to miss the London Marathon in 2008 had flared up again.
She said: “I don't think my participation at the Games is under threat at this stage. It’s just a case of managing it. I can run on it, it just hurts.”