More clarity on Morgan’s injury
Black said she wanted to run
By Edison Jefford
Alika Morgan said she would not implicate her coach, Leslie Black when President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Colin Boyce held a press conference at Olympic House yesterday to debrief the media on various issues.
“I was not 100 percent. I was not doing the training I should have done due to the injury. I was at the Games and people were asking me if I am not a former medallist and I told them I have an injury,” Morgan stated yesterday.
The current national ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ was referring to the threatening injury of her ankle that almost left her off the national team. However, her performances were not as dominant as her two previous appearances.
Morgan’s injured attendance at the prestigious meet has raised many questions about the future of the top athlete’s career, which the aggravation of the serious injury could have easily undermined at the Carifta Games in Saint Lucia.
Kaieteur Sport asked Morgan if she would blame her coach for the oversight of allowing her to compete with an injury and she said: “No, I would not blame him; this year is my last year as a junior and anyone would want to run”.
Boyce reiterated his previous position that the athlete should have undergone a thorough medical examination. He observed that the AAG missed the mark in that regard but made it clear that the blunder will not recur in the future.
“If it’s known that a [national] athlete is injured before a major meet, I think it is only fair to put that athlete through a medical examination to certify whether or not that athlete is fit enough to compete,” the AAG head told the media.
In addition, Boyce said that while steps will be taken in that direction, the association will also require the medically certified athletes to privately undergo trials, which will also aid the association’s intelligence function on athletes.
“Sometimes a doctor can say that an athlete can run because they are fit but then the time that athlete would have spent recovering means that they would have lost some physical fitness. We want to be sure on both counts,” he said.
“We knew she (Morgan) was injured but knowing the kind of calibre athlete that she was, we expected her to perform. I had counted her in the medals for Guyana,” he continued at the picturesque Olympic House in Queenstown.
Arriving at the meeting in time to field a few questions, Black indicated that Morgan did not complain about pain during training, which gave the impression that she had fully recovered from the recurring ankle injury.
“She never cried out for pains. I asked her during training how she felt and she said good. It was her last year as a junior athlete and up to two days before we left she did not complain because she wanted to run,” Black said.
According to Black, who indirectly threatened to quit athletics over this furore, the AAG should have said that they were not satisfied with mere speculation over Morgan’s fitness thereafter requesting medical certification on the injury.
“The President of the AAG [Boyce] should have said that he was not satisfied with what I told him and should’ve gone to consult a doctor,” Black believed, adding that “he has to decide with his family” if he will continue coaching.
The issues surrounding Morgan’s injury raises ethical questions about the priorities of her management since it was clearly not in her best interest to compete without fully allowing the fracture to heal and repair before athletic activity.
Morgan’s best performance at the Carifta Games was her fourth place finish in the 3000m under-20 girls’ race where she ran a terribly off 10:59.81 seconds. The dual Sportswoman of the Year’s personal best time in that event is 10.11.00.
Junior Carifta Games’ gold medallist, Jevina Straker, silver medallist, Ricardo Martin and bronze medallist Jenella Jonas also attended yesterday’s press conference. The team came into Guyana Thursday after the meet ended Tuesday.