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Protect your future - Sports medicine experts warn Taylor

Published:Saturday | March 30, 2019 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Christopher Taylor of Calabar High winning his heat in the Class One boys’ 400m on Day Two of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Wednesday.
Mansingh
Wright
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Since showing up for his first race at this year’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships – the Class One boys 200m heats on Tuesday – Calabar star Christopher Taylor has shown signs of discomfort, leaving many to question his fitness.

Taylor seemed to suffer a leg injury before eventually winning his heat and has looked a shadow of himself this week, barely making it into the 200m final.

Sports medicine expert Dr Paul Wright believes that if Taylor continues to participate at the championships, the long-term effect on his career could be severe.

“I watched the race (200m semi) last night (Thursday), and it was very close for him to qualify for the final. What I noticed is that he is in some form of pain, he is having some problem. But you can’t make a statement without hearing what he says. But my advice to someone of Christopher Taylor’s talent is to forget Champs and concentrate on your national (career). National is better for him, better than Champs. So if he is feeling pain, he needs to stop and look to what is best for him as a national athlete than a Champs athlete,” Wright told The Gleaner.

Based on unofficial reports, Taylor has been feeling tightness in his quadriceps and hamstring muscles. But although the injury does not appear serious enough to prevent him from competing, Wright believes that if he continues he will be doing himself greater harm in the long term.

“He (could) be getting scar tissues (if he continues to participate), and that will have a long-term effect. If he is having tightness, he should just back off and relax now. It’s (injury) minor at this stage, so if he concentrates on not going any further and not hurt himself any more, then he could recover soon. So my advice is national is more than Champs.National is major, Champs is minor, so forget Champs and concentrate on your national thing,” Wright commented.

Another renowned sport medicine expert, Dr Akshai Mansingh, recommends that the young athlete seek and follow professional medical advice.

“There are two parts to an injury: it can be severe and it can be mild. Initially, when you get an injury, you don’t know which one it is. You can have a bleeding on the muscle and it gets better, and you can get back into running soon, and you can tear a muscle or muscle fibre, and that can take much longer. But initially, you don’t know what to do unless you do some investigation,” Mansingh said.

“Sprinters who are running demand 100 per cent effort from their bodies. They cannot tolerate the slightest piece of injury to the muscle.

“You can have a scenario where a sport person can have a slight muscle strain and carry through, but in athletics, the slightest injury will prevent you from running 100 per cent or even 90 per cent.

“So there are two things to consider, the nature of the injury and the event, and both of them can be an impediment. People feel tightness in their quads and hamstring because they are having an impending injury and the body tries to tighten up around the area to protect it.

“It can be a situation where he is dehydrated and that caused a bit of tightness, but it’s’ unlikely to feel the tightness in one leg. It’s usually in both limbs or sets of muscle. So my recommendation is that he seek proper advice, look at the long term as the greatest problem with hamstring injury is sustaining the first one, and you don’t want them sustaining an injury when you can prevent it,” he added.