Britain's Paul Goodison is suffering a back injury and admits "my body is in a lot of trouble"
Tonight there can be few Olympic sailors whose worries exceed those of Laser medal hopeful Paul Goodison.
Despite a 2nd place on the second race today, he lies 12th overall and this afternoon revealed that he had tears of pain in his eyes today as the recurrence of a long-standing back injury casts a shadow over his hopes of a medal.
The storybook plot was to be a two-way battle between Goodison and his arch-rival, Australian Tom Slingsby. But Goodison has been fighting though severe pain and admitted this evening that work by his physio yesterday had failed to quell the problem.
“I could hardly bend down last night,” he said. “The physios did an amazing job to get me back out and I was kind of hoping it would be a quick fix but unfortunately not. The body is in a lot of pain.”
He admitted it is affecting his sailing. “When the pain is affecting your decision making it’s very difficult,” he said.
Depending on which commentator you believe he’s contemplating throwing in the towel or possibly accepting a Gold might be beyond reach. The quote that has ignited the wildest speculation was his reply to a question about whether he feared for his medal ambitions.
Goodison responded: “Yeah, for sure. I’m more worried my body is in a lot of trouble.”
“The pain was quite a lot,” he added, “but I had a couple of tablets and just got out of the pack around the first mark and luckily the breeze dropped off which made it better for me in the last laps.”
Those who know Goodison and have followed him over the years don’t however believe that this means he’s preparing to concede anything. He is under treatment, apparently OK and says that he’s steeling himself to push through the pain.
“Until it is fixed you can’t really fire on all cylinders and unless you deliver your very best it’s going to be hard to win. I’ve just got to keep ticking away and give myself a chance if I get better later on.”
His 2nd place this afternoon in spite of obvious agony is a hopeful clue that he may be able to grit his teeth.