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Beddoes racing against time to be fit for Games

Tuesday 2 August 2022 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Commonwealth Games, Sports

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Beddoes racing against time to be fit for Games
Photo: COMMONWEALTH GAMES

Cook Islands middle distance runner Alex Beddoes is in doubt for the Commonwealth Games after contracting Covid-19 which affected his preparations.

The top national athlete is up against time to get fully fit and ready for the 800 metres heats on August 4 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

According to Athletics Cook Islands secretary Ruta Mave, Beddoes was training in Germany with his Melbourne based coach and running squad and was tracking very strongly.

“He injured his knee early on in the year and had taken steps to get rehabilitation so he could compete at the Commonwealth. His mind and body were strong and his two races – one booked in Belgium and one in Manchester – looked to be good momentum building towards Birmingham,” Mave said.

“Then two days out from his Belgium race he contracted Covid and was bed ridden for three days and had to cancel his race. The problem with Covid is it affects the heart and lungs and can put a large strain on these organs, that pushing them into duress due to competition may not be possible or healthy for an individual.

“At last report Alex was out of the worst of it, and able to exercise carefully for five minutes he is getting better and better.”

Beddoes had to have a PCR test 72 hours from entering the Commonwealth Games Village and due to the long remaining effects of Covid, it came back positive even after he has recovered and been isolated past the contagious period, Mave said.

“Alex is due to compete in his 800m heat on August 4, he is trying to overcome the challenges presented to him to get to the track and at the moment it looks like he could make it. We stand in support of his commitment and drive to not give up and to do all he can to represent his country to the best of his ability. He is a true sportsman and an inspirational role model.”

Meanwhile national sprinter Tikove Piira took part in the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States last month.

“Tikove had a good lead in and training on the track the day before and was in the fourth heat with Fiji. On the day Fiji broke with a false start and the international rules that apply to secondary school age and up is zero tolerance, whoever breaks is automatically disqualified. It was such a shame and all of Oceania were saddened for him as he left the track. This however, made the second start very intense,” Mave said.

“Tikove got out to a good start and was holding a strong 4th with another runner. At 15m out from the finish he pulled up lame with a hamstring injury, it was such a shame as he ended up finishing on his personal best time so if he had been able to hold his position to the end he would have gained a great improvement on his time.”

He was not the only athlete to do so during the competition and in 2004 Usain Bolt had to pull out of the Olympics due to his hamstring injury. He did come back the following Olympics to win gold. 

“We can only take the lessons learnt and work towards Tikove next competition.  The life of an athletics athlete is they are fully accountable on the track, it is up to them as they don’t have 10 other people on the field whom they can blame if the score doesn’t go their way. This is when strength of character is built and the test of commitment and drive to carry on regardless of challenges. Tikove is a strong and focused athlete who will work even harder to overcome this disappointment.”

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