Watson suffers quad strain after hitting hurdle but is okay

Monday, February 18, 2019

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SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — There were concerns on Saturday's final day of competition in the County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Digicel Western Championships when Petersfield High's Antonio Watson hit a barrier in the Class One 400m hurdles and finished third.

Later in the afternoon he jogged around the track in the Class One 400m final and finished long after the medallists in one minute 07.55 seconds after qualifying with the fastest time of 49.13 seconds from the first round.

Watson, the former World Under-18 champion and Class Two 200m/400m double winner at Western Champs and ISSA Champs last year, and his coach Machell Woolery were quick to dispel any concerns over his health with a month to go before the ISSA Boys' and Girls' Championships.

“I am all-right,” Watson told the Jamaica Observer. “I hit a hurdle this morning and had a slight strain to the left quad and I just ran to get the point for the team.”

Petersfield High finished second in the boys' section with 393.50 points, well behind defending champions St Elizabeth Technical High School on 424 and comfortably ahead of third-placed Cornwall College on 252.50 points.

Watson, who skipped the 4x400m Open out of an abundance of caution, said he was not in any discomfort during the 400m race. “I was not feeling any more pain than before and I only went out there to motivate the others, no pain at all.”

Woolery said they had consulted with the team physio after the hurdles mishap. “He wanted to go out there but we checked first and he was given the go-ahead, only if he wanted to, but he was told that at any time he felt anything to stop running immediately.”

When asked about the wisdom of sending the athlete to run after the morning incident, Woolery said it was not done without taking everything into consideration.

“I gave him the option, he is a senior athlete and he would not do anything to jeopardise his health,” the coach said.

— Paul Reid

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