Published: 22nd October 2019
Kerala shocker: 17-year-old athlete dies after being injured at hammer throw event
Apheel was struck when one of the competitors threw the hammer while he was reportedly removing a javelin from one side of the stadium
A plus-one student, who suffered a serious head injury after being accidentally hit during a hammer throw event early this month, died at a government medical college hospital here on Monday, hospital sources said.
Apheel Johnson, who was a volunteer in the junior athletic meet held in nearby Pala on October 4, was struck when one of the competitors threw the hammer, a heavy iron ball.
A student of the St Thomas Higher Secondary School, Johnson was taken to the government medical college hospital here, where emergency surgery was performed.
He died on Monday afternoon as he was being treated in the intensive care unit, doctors said. His body will be handed over to relatives after autopsy, they said. A three-member committee has been formed by the Kerala government to probe the incident.
Former physical education director of Kerala University KK Venu, former athletics coach of Sports Authority of India MB Sathyanandan and Arjuna awardee V Diju are the members of the panel.
Apheel was struck when one of the competitors threw the hammer while he was reportedly removing a javelin from one side of the stadium. He belonged to a poor family in Moonnilavu in Erattupetta in the district.
The hammer throw is one of the four throwing events in regular track and field competitions, along with the discus throw, shot put and javelin. The "hammer" used in this sport is not like any of the tools also called by that name. It consists of a metal ball attached by a steel wire to a grip.
The general consensus is that organizational fault lead to the accident. The incident happened around 12.25 pm. The athletic meet was being held at the Pala synthetic track. A feel was moving to pick up a javelin thrown by a competitor. At the same time, the hammer throw for girls’ under-18 was also underway. The hammer which weighs 3 kilograms was thrown from 35 meters away and it fell on Afeel’s forehead, close to his left eye. Even though he saw the incoming hammer, he was not able to dodge it.