An athletics official suffered a broken leg at the Asian Games in Hangzhou after being hit by a hammer hurled during competition by Kuwait’s Ali Zankawi.
The official, named as Huang Qinghua, was sitting on a chair outside the throwing circle when Zankawi aborted his attempt on Saturday evening, with his hammer hitting the protective netting.
But rather than stopping, the metal ball that weighs over 7kg (15 pounds) slammed into the technical official’s right leg.
Pictures showed Huang in agony, blood pouring from his shin, as Zankawi rushed to help him.
He was carried out of the arena on a stretcher and received emergency treatment on site, before being taken to hospital for surgery.
The 62-year-old was in a stable condition after suffering a fractured tibiofibular joint, Chinese state media said.
Zankawi, a silver medallist at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, told AFP he visited Huang in his hospital bed on Sunday and apologised. The apology was accepted and they took a photograph together.
Describing the accident, the 39-year-old said: “I raised my head and discovered that the hammer had bounced from the ground to the official’s leg, so I quickly ran to him and tried to help him, especially since he was in a state of shock and writhing in pain.
“After I got to him, I discovered a slit in his trousers and saw blood pouring from the leg, and I knew it was broken.
“Then I tied it tightly to stop the bleeding until the ambulance arrived, so I helped them by putting him on an ambulance stretcher to transport him to hospital.”
Zankawi, who finished eighth behind Chinese winner Wang Qi, was shaken by the incident but said it could have been far worse.
“Thank god the hammer hit the ground before it hit his leg,” he said.
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