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Norcross native is on Team USA medical staff

Special Photo. Harris Patel of Norcross is headed to South Korea Monday to assist Team USA in the International Association of Athletics Federations track and field world championships.

Special Photo. Harris Patel of Norcross is headed to South Korea Monday to assist Team USA in the International Association of Athletics Federations track and field world championships.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Norcross native is headed to South Korea on Monday to assist athletes competing in an international track and field tournament.

Sponsored by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the World Track and Field Championships is held every two years.

The 2011 event is scheduled for Aug. 27-Sept. 4 in Daegu, Korea.

That's where Harris Patel of Sports Medicine South is headed. Patel was picked by a special committee to be a physician assistant athlete trainer with Team USA's medical staff.

It won't be his first time traveling for Team USA. In 2008, Patel went to Beijing, China, for the Olympic Games. He also went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July 2007 for the Pan American Games.

When taking care of Team USA, efficiency is the name of the game, said Patel.

"It's got to be a quick rehabilitation," he said. "We're there for a very short time, so we've got to get them rolling and going."

Patel said the medical staff is there for prevention of injuries as well as rehabilitation of those who have been injured.

While the games don't begin until Aug. 27, Patel will be arriving two weeks ahead of time to assist the athletes with training.

"I'm excited," he said. "It's an honor to be selected."

For more information, visit www.iaaf.org.