Spectators and cyclists treated for injuries after Commonwealth Games crash
- Credit: PA
Spectators and cyclists were injured in a crash at the Lee Valley VeloPark during the Commonwealth Games.
The venue, in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is hosting the cycling events at Birmingham 2022.
But a Games spokesperson said three cyclists were taken to hospital and two spectators were treated onsite after a crash on Sunday (July 31).
The incident saw England’s Matt Walls go over the railings and into the crowd during the men's scratch race qualifying.
Walls avoided major injuries in the crash and was discharged from hospital by the evening with little more than bumps and bruises, but the severity of the incident – and the difficulty in removing him safely from where he landed – saw the rest of the morning session cancelled.
Two spectators, including a young girl, received treatment for injuries in the velodrome while two other riders – the Isle of Man’s Matt Bostock and Canada’s Derek Gee – were taken to hospital.
The crash happened when several riders ahead of Walls collided going into a corner.
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The 24-year-old Olympic omnium champion tried to avoid the stricken pair of New Zealander George Jackson and Australia’s Josh Duffy but was forced up the banking.
Witnesses said that, because of the gradient of the banking, spectators in the front row had been unsighted as Walls came towards them.
One man needed treatment for cuts to his arm and a young girl also received medical attention for minor injuries.
A Birmingham 2022 spokesperson said: “Following a crash at the (Sunday) morning session of track and para track cycling at the Lee Valley VeloPark, three cyclists and two spectators have been treated by the onsite medical team.
“The three cyclists have been taken to hospital. The two spectators did not require hospital treatment.
“We would like to send our best wishes to the cyclists and spectators involved in this incident and to thank the medical team for their swift action.”
Multiple Olympic gold medallist Dame Laura Kenny, who witnessed the incident, suggested installing screens at velodromes as a safety measure.
She said: “I think the crashes are getting worse and it’s because the speeds are getting higher, the positions (on the bike) are getting more extreme."
Reporting by Press Association.