Cyclist flies into crowd in 'horrendous' scenes at Commonwealth Games

Matt Walls, pictured here being hospitalised after a heavy crash at the Commonwealth Games.
Matt Walls was hospitalised after a heavy crash at the Commonwealth Games. Image: Getty

The Commonwealth Games were rocked by frightening scenes on Sunday when British track cyclist Matt Walls went flying into the crowd after a massive crash.

The Olympic gold medallist was catapulted over the barriers and into the crowd at the Lee Valley VeloPark after colliding with other riders.

Competing in the men's 15km scratch qualifiers at the London venue, Walls received treatment for more than 40 minutes before being taken away by ambulance.

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Spectators were also hurt after Walls and his bike came over the top of the barriers on the high banking of a corner.

Two other riders - the Isle of Man's Matt Bostock and Canada's Derek Gee - were also taken to hospital, while two spectators were treated for minor injuries at the velodrome.

"Following medical treatment in hospital, Matt Walls has been discharged with stitches in his forehead, scrapes and bruises but thankfully no major injuries," Team England later said in a statement.

The Isle of Man team said in a statement that Bostock had a CT scan from which the initial prognosis was positive.

Witnesses said that because of the gradient of the banking, spectators in the front row had been unsighted for the crash.

One man received treatment for cuts to his arm while a young girl also received medical attention.

Matt Walls, pictured here flying over the barrier and into the crowd at the Commonwealth Games.
Matt Walls flew over the barrier and into the crowd at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

New Zealand's George Jackson and Australia's Josh Duffy slid up the banking after falling, forcing Walls up on to the barrier and then over it.

Gee also surfed the top of the barrier but managed to avoid following Walls into the stands before he fell heavily.

A spokesperson for Birmingham 2022 said three cyclists and two spectators had been treated by the on-site medical team.

"The three cyclists have been taken to hospital. The two spectators did not require hospital treatment," the statement said.

Canadian rider Mathias Guillemette was disqualified from the race for causing the initial crash and the rest of the morning session was cancelled.

Medics, pictured here tending to Matt Walls after his horror crash at the Commonwealth Games.
Medics tend to Matt Walls after his horror crash at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Laura Kenny, who is competing for England at the Commonwealth Games, called for bigger barriers or screens to be fitted in velodromes to improve safety.

Kenny, speaking a day after England's Joe Truman was knocked unconscious in a crash, fears the sport is growing more dangerous.

“It was horrendous," she said of Walls' crash.

"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," she said.

"Some of the pursuit positions people are getting in, you see people crashing into the back of people.

"At some point the UCI (cycling's governing body) are going to have to put a cap on these positions. Maybe there should be screens because Matt should not have been able to go over the top and into the crowd — that's pretty damn dangerous."

Aussies claim four gold medals after horrible crash

Australia's track cyclists blasted their way to four gold medals on a day of shocking high drama at the London Olympic velodrome.

Georgia Baker, Kristina Clonan, along with the para-cycling duo of Jess Gallagher and pilot Caitlin Ward, began the golden feast on Sunday before Matt Richardson produced the most dazzling of sprint triumphs.

But there was sympathy for Matt Glaetzer, who thought he'd won a medal in the sprint just 24 hours after being flattened in a dramatic keirin crash, only to be controversially relegated from bronze.

"Everyone's going crazy, winning gold. It's the new era, everyone's really excited and feeding off one another," beamed Baker, the team pursuit champion, after a commanding win in the 100-lap points race which saw her win annex four of the 10 sprints.

In the individual blue riband sprint, Richardson overcame a host of setbacks before outracing Trinidad's newly-crowned keirin champion Nicholas Paul 2-0 in the final.

"I was struggling," he admitted. "But the more time I got, the better I became."

with agencies

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