Airdrie track and field athlete fights through injury to win discus gold
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 06:00 am
On his way to winning three medals at the 2014 Alberta Summer Games on July 25 and 26, Airdrie track and field athlete Adam Sleik had an injury scare to deal with.
During his warm-up throws for the Male U15 (Under 15) discus event on July 25 at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park, Sleik smashed his right knee into the ground, leaving him in a lot of pain before he could take part in the competition.
“I was just getting ready for the competition when I slipped on my throw and hit my knee right on the end of the throwing circle,” Sleik said. “It was sore all the way through no matter what I did, but I still had to push through it in order to compete.”
“Plus, the weather at the time wasn’t helping matters any, as it was raining out and slippery,” he added. “This was the first time with a discus event this year that the conditions were that bad, so we had to make adjustments through that.”
Despite the pain, Sleik powered his way to a gold medal in the event with a toss of 40.77 metres, which matched his first-place performance in the junior boys’ discus at the Alberta High School Track and Field Championships in Calgary on June 6.
“The throw was way off of my personal best of 50.69 metres, but no one was really matching their previous top throws because of the weather conditions,” Sleik said.
“I had already had a throw of 40.05 metres on my fifth attempt to win the gold, but I still wanted to finish off on a high note prior to my sixth and final throw.”
“Prior to that, it was back-and-forth with myself and Sean Doherty (of Vegreville) for the lead, and we’ve been competing with each other at events like this for the last couple of years,” he added. “I’ve had the upper hand lately against him, but I know that he will be gunning for me when we meet again.”
With his knee still bothering him following a silver-medal performance in the medley relay competition, Sleik pulled himself out of two other events he planned to compete in that day - the U15 100-metre hurdles and the U15 long jump.
However, the soon-to-be Grade 11 student at George McDougall High School was ready to compete again on June 26, as he nabbed the silver medal in the U15 200-metre race and the U15 hammer throw competition.
“I was actually surprised that I was able to compete in both of those events, and I was able to have a personal best time of 25.90 seconds in the hurdles and 43.89 metres in the hammer throw,” Sleik said.
“The time doesn’t officially count in the records because of the wind at the time, but I’m really happy to run that quick, and my distance in the hammer throw was the best that I’ve had in a long time so that was really encouraging for me,” he added.
With four medals around his neck from the Alberta Summer Games, Sleik goes into the Canadian Youth Legion Track & Field Championships in Langley, B.C. on Aug. 15 to 17, with a lot of momentum. He expects to be taking part in the discus and hurdle events.
“First I’m going to rest the knee up a little bit to make sure everything’s fine there,” Sleik said. “But after that, I’m looking forward to heading out to Langley to see how I match up with the top guys in the country.”