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Georgia’s Elija Godwin, once impaled by javelin, earns medal at Tokyo Olympics

Georgia track-Being stabbed with javelin has given Elija Godwin a testimony to share the rest of his life-Georgia Bulldogs
Elija Godwin, impaled by a javelin in May of 2019, earned a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics (Kirstin M. Bradshaw/UGA Athletics)

Georgia track star Elija Godwin and former UGA sprinter Lynna Irby will be bringing home bronze medals from the Tokyo Olympics.

The current and former Bulldogs were part of the Team USA 4 x 400-meter mixed relay squad that finished third on Saturday at the Tokyo Olympics, having raced on the team in the prelims.

Godwin was once known best by some as the UGA track athlete who impaled himself on a javelin while warming up for the 2019 SEC Championship meet in Fayetteville, Ark.

Godwin’s comeback from the harrowing incident has been impressive, as he suffered a collapsed left lung after it was punctured by the 5- to 6-inch deep wound.

“I knew it was bad because of the blood I was spitting out of my mouth,” Godwin said when recalling the incident a couple of years ago. “That’s when I realized the seriousness of the situation.”

From the 2019 DawgNation report, “Doctors who surgically removed the back end of the javelin from Godwin’s torso say the thin metal pole narrowly missed Godwin’s heart and several major arteries.”

Godwin, however, said he wasn’t looking for any pity and he pledged that he would recover and be just fine.

“I want people to know I’m better, and I’m going to be OK,” said Godwin, who made good on his word with his tremendous accomplished on the global stage this week.

Godwin, from Newton High School in Covington, Ga., served noticed he was on pace for special things this summer when he school record in the 400 meters with a 44.61-second time.

Godwin also ran a leg on the Georgia 4 x 100 relay team that set a school record at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Earlier this season, at indoor championships, Godwin ran a 44.21 time in a 4 x 400 relay that marked the fastest indoor 400-meter relay leg in collegiate history.

Godwin is scheduled to return to the Georgia track team next season.

Irby, who is from Indianapolis, was third in the 400 meters at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships while at Georgia as the Bulldogs’ women’s team won the national championship.

Godwin and Irby won the 14th and 15th all-time medals associated with the Georgia Track & Field program.

Their performance marks the first medal for Georgia athletes in a relay since 2000, when Debbie Ferguson was on the Bahamas’ first-place 4 x 100 relay team.

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