Spectators were injured when cyclists at the Commonwealth Games were thrown over the barrier in a horrifying crash on Sunday.
During the men’s second qualifying heat for the 15km scratch race in the velodrome, multiple riders collided, and England’s Matt Walls was hurled over the outer barrier into onlookers while still strapped onto his bike.
Canada’s Derek Gee’s bike rode up onto the top of the barrier which separates the track from the spectators but luckily did not go right over the top.
Walls received urgent medical attention on site for nearly an hour while cyclist Matt Bostock was stretchered off. Both men were taken to hospital.
— Daily Star Sport (@DailyStar_Sport) July 31, 2022
“We send our best wishes to the riders and spectators involved in the incident and will provide a further update when we can,” posted British Cycling.
“Matt is alert and talking – as he has been throughout – and is being given medical attention in hospital.”
Some people in the front rows of the spectator’s seats were also injured as Walls and his bike collided into them.
In video footage, horrified spectators including young children can be seen ducking and gasping as the split-second crash happened.
Walls, 24, can be seen desperately trying to avoid hitting anyone but is unable to control his fall after travelling at such a high speed during the race.
The Olympic athlete is holding down his brake in the video as his bike grinds along the metal pole which runs along the top of the barrier with one wheel either side.
He then is able to jump off the bike in mid-air, preventing it from hitting three small children in the front row.
Some of the spectators were treated by paramedics at the velodrome but fortunately no one sustained any serious injuries. According to reports, a man was seen by medics who treated some minor cuts to his arm and another man who was covered in blood was taken away for treatment in a wheelchair.
“Thoughts are with all the riders involved in the crash in the velodrome.,” Tweeted England’s race team.
— Sky Sports (@Sky5Sports) July 31, 2022
“Unfortunately, we have just witnessed another big crash at the velodrome. Kyle Gordon was taken down but thankfully got up and got back on this bike.
“Our thoughts with the two riders who are receiving medical attention,” posted Scottish Cycling.
Former Olympic, Commonwealth and world champion, Sir Chris Hoy said to BBC Sport that while major crashes like this are very rare in cycling, he believes extra safety measures should be put in place to prevent spectators being injured:
“This was a direct result of not having some form of barrier at the top of the fencing. It might seem strange that there is nothing to stop riders going over the fence,” said Hoy.
“It’s very rare for it to happen but it has over the years – maybe half a dozen times over 20 years.
“Personally, I think it’s preventable if you put a plexiglass screen around like they do in ice hockey. Look at motorsport and its catch fencing and the lengths they go to protect the crowd and also the athlete,” he continued.
“I didn’t want to see the video, I have seen a shot of it, and it was horrendous to see but on the whole it’s a very safe sport.”
This story syndicated with permission from For the Love of News
Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.
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