Sport

Kemoy Campbell not in coma, says agent

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 11, 2019

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Jamaica's distance runner Kemoy Campbell, who collapsed during the men's 3000-metre event at the Millrose Games in New York on Saturday, is sedated and not in a coma as was reported in some quarters, says his agent Ray Flynn.

“I don't know that is true. I think he is sedated. There is a lot of information going around that people don't know,” Flynn told the Jamaica Observer amidst reports that Campbell was in a medically induced coma.

“But what I do know is that they took him over there [hospital] and did a CAT scan and echocardiogram and he is in ICU (intensive-care unit). So that's a good sign. They would probably keep him there until they find out [the problem]. The longer he is there it's encouraging,” said Flynn.

A medically induced coma occurs when a patient has brain damage and receives a controlled dose of an anaesthetic to protect the brain from swelling, while sedation puts the patient in a semi-conscious state, rather than a very deep unconscious state, allowing the patient to be comfortable.

The 28-year-old Campbell, who holds the national records for the 3000m, 5000m and 10000m, is considered Jamaica's best male distance runner of all time.

He was acting as the pacesetter during the event when he fell into the infield after six laps and was treated trackside before he was rushed to the Presbyterian/Columbia University Hospital and later transferred to New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Centre.

Flynn said information from the doctors has been kept at a minimum as they continue to run tests trying to figure the reason for his collapse.

“We are thankful for the team of doctors and first responders who assisted Kemoy and for the outpouring of support from the track and field community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kemoy and his family,” said Flynn in a statement.

Campbell, formerly of Bellefield High school in Manchester, dominated the middle and distance races at Boys Championships. He also had success at the regional Carifta Games, winning from 800m through to 5,000m.

He left Jamaica and attended South Plains College in Texas in 2011, where he won national Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) titles in the 800 metres and in cross country. Two years later, he moved onto the University of Arkansas and placed fifth in the men's 5000 metres final and finished second in the men's 3000 metres at the 2013 NCAA Division 1 Indoor Track and Field Championships.

He was injured in 2014, but rebounded in 2015 when he lowered Jamaica's 5000m record to 13:20.39 minutes, and historically secured the qualifying mark to the IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China.

But his good fortune turned sour when in his first major senior championship he fell in his heats and failed to advance. The following year at the 2016 Olympic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he finished 10th of 25 in his 5000m heats and again failed to make the final.

On August 12, 2017, Campbell became the first male Jamaican distance runner to compete in a final at the IAAF World Championships in London. He finished 10th with a time of 13:39.74 minutes.


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