With the Barbados Olympic team scheduled to depart for Rio in a couple hours, the injury bug has hit the team. Promising sprinter Sada Williams has been withdrawn from participating at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil due to an injury. Williams, 19, was favourite to win a gold medal at the recently concluded World U20 Athletics Championships in Poland but pulled up midway in the 200m final with a hamstring injury.
In a media release today, the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) said Sada had visited physiotherapist Dr Llewellyn Harper who diagnosed her with a “Grade 1 mid-substance strain of the right hamstring”. Harper, who specializes in sports medicine, also recommended that the athlete did not travel to Rio as she would not be ready in time to compete at the Rio Olympic Games, which officially begin on August 5.
A follow-up scan is scheduled with Dr Rene Best, the chief medical officer of the Barbados delegation to Rio, who supported Dr Harper’s decision.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview from Rio, Chef de Mission Dr Adrian Lorde called Sada’s withdrawal “a big disappointment”.
“She has good potential, and I think the experience here [at Rio Olympics] would’ve been good for her.”
Lorde said the last time he spoke to Sada and asked how she was feeling, her reply was she’s okay. However, he said this was before her scans were done.
The Chef de Mission said the decision to pull Sada from the Olympics was made with her future in mind since competing at this stage could result in further injury for the athlete.
“From what the doctors said [Dr Harper and Dr Best] it would’ve been more difficult for her. She could’ve re-injured herself and affected her [athletic] future,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Dr Lorde made reference to the 1996 Olympic Games when Andrea Blackett was forced to pull out of the games due to an injury and went on to win an international medal a few years later.
“I would never forget Andrea Blackett, 1996, in the Atlanta Olympics, and two years later she was the Commonwealth [Games] champion the 400m hurdles,” he recalled.
Earlier this week, Sada told Barbados TODAY she was looking forward to her participation in Rio and was hopeful that she would recover in time.
However, when contacted this evening coach Ramon Armstrong said the athlete was taking the decision of the Athletics Association of Barbados (AAB) and the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) in stride.
He said Sada was currently following doctors advice for her to have “rest and rehabilitation”, while estimating that it could take a “minimum four weeks, maximum six to eight weeks” for her to recovery from her hamstring injury.
“It is not horrible but it is still not at the stage that she can compete since she is not even walking 100 per cent.”
Asked about his and the athlete’s feelings on the withdrawal, Armstrong said: “The decision was taken by AAB and BOA based on the reports of the doctors,” adding that he did not need to comment any further on the matter at this stage.
In the meantime, Lorde said the sidelined athlete was assured continued support.
“The Athletics Association of Barbados and the Barbados Olympic Association have agreed to make sure that she gets proper rehabilitation while home,” he said during the interview with Barbados TODAY in which he expressed general satisfaction over the team’s readiness and the games’ facilities in Brazil.