FanDuel - WFBC

July 16, 2007

Javelin Thrower Spears Person with Errant Toss: Finnish thrower Tero Pitkamaki slipped as he was releasing his javelin at an international competition in Rome on Friday, spearing long jumper Salim Sdiri of France in the back (painful video link). Sdiri's kidney and liver were injured by the 10-cm deep wound. "A shocked-looking Pitkamaki held his head in his hands after the incident but took his next throw in the javelin competition."

posted by rcade to other at 11:19 AM - 20 comments

The track coach at my high school told me that javelin catcher was my natural skill. He never said anything about danger.

posted by Howard_T at 12:09 PM on July 16

I was watching this meet live on TV on Friday. It was a bit surreal. They were showing someone get ready to start his long jump and then the camera is panning to a guy laying on the ground with people running towards him. As a former javelin thrower in college, I've witnessed someone get hit in person. The person I saw get hit was lucky, it hit them in the shoulder and bounced out. They ended up with a small puncture wound and a cracked shoulder blade. The person that got hit wasn't paying attention and had wandered into the throwing zone. They pretty much deserved what they got. The long jumper was in the warm up area for the long jump, but for whatever reason, the stadium was setup so that it was right next to the landing area of the javelin. I understand that there's a limited number of space, but they really put the long jumpers in harm's way. The javelin wasn't that far out of the landing zone and it's not unheard of for the javelins to land outside the zone. If anyone is at fault in this, it would be the even organizers.

posted by cabuki at 12:59 PM on July 16

A shocked-looking Pitkamaki held his head in his hands after the incident but took his next throw in the javelin competition. Messed up.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:07 PM on July 16

I don't know, LLB -- I kind of sympathize with Pitkamaki. Even at the writing of the article it was unclear how serious the injury really was. I've seen a pretty sizeable number of sporting events in which athletes continued to play after sending another athlete to the hospital. You can argue that our sports culture as a whole fringes on the inhumane, but I wouldn't say Pitamaki's behavior strays at all from that culture.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:51 PM on July 16

I've seen a pretty sizeable number of sporting events in which athletes continued to play after sending another athlete to the hospital. That's one thing I always felt was heartless in football. We'd be in practice and you'd have a guy go down with a torn ACL or broken arm or something...and the coach would yell "move the drill over" and we'd all scoot over 10 yards or so and keep practicing, never missing a beat. At least during the games they would hold off long enough to get the guy off the field.

posted by bdaddy at 02:40 PM on July 16

I don't know, LLB -- I kind of sympathize with Pitkamaki. I sympathize with him too. I just think it's messed up. This wasn't a USfootball game, where someone might go into it reasonably expecting that they might injure another participant -- he chucked the spear in the wrong direction, and *PTUNK* someone else is going to the hospital. The idea of continuing is too messed up for words. What, did they tell him to take the throw over? Weird.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:11 PM on July 16

"A shocked-looking Pitkamaki held his head in his hands after the incident but took his next throw in the javelin competition." Why? Was he looking to finish the guy off with the second toss?

posted by commander cody at 12:09 AM on July 17

What purpose or good would it have served to withdraw? Was it going to make the guy in the ambulance stop bleeding if Pitkamaki withdrew from the rest of the competition? Maybe that's harsh, and I probably wouldn't feel that way if I'd just accidentally speared someone. I suppose it is pretty messed up. You can all go home now, I'm happy enough just arguing with myself here.

posted by JJ at 04:51 AM on July 17

JJ, that's the point -- I just couldn't imagine walking back to the line and taking another toss after that. Nope, I think I'd be done for the day, thanks. (and I still want to know if that throw counted)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:28 AM on July 17

(and I still want to know if that throw counted) "And the javelin lands at 322 ... NO WAIT ... 323!"

posted by Ricardo at 07:41 AM on July 17

(and I still want to know if that throw counted) Good point. Now imagine if the throw did count and Salim Sdiri ran around after getting speared like a large-mouth bass. "And the javelin lands at 322 ... NO WAIT ... 323!" Exactly!!

posted by BornIcon at 07:54 AM on July 17

How could it count? He was out of bounds when it hit him. I have to agree, lbb, although I want it noted that I'm not making any of the obvious "toss" jokes I could make right about now.

posted by JJ at 08:34 AM on July 17

You guys, I swear. I didn't mean did the distance count; I meant did it count as one of his three throws. Can you just imagine if they gave it to him as a do-over?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:00 AM on July 17

would you keep an eye of that guy after that?

posted by water1 at 10:45 AM on July 17

Seems Sdiri got off lucky. Whew.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:15 AM on July 17

Long-Jumper Kabobs are my favorite!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:29 AM on July 17

I respect that Pitkamaki went on and took his next throw. From what I've seen, it really does seem like this was a case of poor organization. They should not have put the long jumpers where they put them - bad design. In light of this, while he was clearly effected by hitting somebody, getting up and continuing with the event was, in my opinion, the correct thing to do. It would also have been fine if he'd chosen not to continue, but I'm just saying he did nothing wrong by continuing.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:56 PM on July 17

I meant did it count as one of his three throws. Can you just imagine if they gave it to him as a do-over? I know it's the mother of all fuck ups to assume anything, but I've got to assume that out of bounds is out of bounds no matter who you hit - therefore, it counted for sure. Although, what they might have done had Sdiri then got up and run way out past the world record before he fell down...? I don't know. I need to stop drinking and posting. Cabrera for the open BTW. 50-1? It's a steal. He just won the US and he was fourth the last time it was at Carnoustie!

posted by JJ at 05:12 PM on July 17

Where were the umpires or the measuring crew why didn't they do some yelling or some thing it's not the first time this has happened I can remember when a judge was struck years ago and still everyone is oblivios of what is going on around them, things happen but there should be a better way of doing this even the hammerthrow has a cage the least a Javilen thrower should have is a blast on a air horn or something else besides OUCH

posted by Poppop at 12:22 PM on July 18

Poppop: periods, commas, semicolons, question marks, exclamation points, even dashes and the occasional ellipsis -- all are your friends. Where were the umpires or the measuring crew I don't know of any "umpires" at a track meet. There were presumably officials at both javelin and long jump. What did you expect them to do, catch the javelin? why didn't they do some yelling or some thing a)It's entirely possible they did. b)Watch the video. The javelin wasn't thrown sideways, and it wasn't lobbed. It was slightly off the field; in other words, barely off target of what would have been a legitimate (if not particularly good) throw. It's entirely possible no one knew it was off course until the last minute. c)The officials who measure the javelin are not anywhere near where it's gonna come down, thus wouldn't have been close enough to yell, and why would the long jump officials even be looking? things happen but there should be a better way of doing this Yes. That has already been pointed out in this thread. Watch the video. Look at the field. Read cabuki's comments.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:56 PM on July 18

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.