'Horrible to see': Cyclist hospitalised after awful crash at Olympics

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Laurine van Riessen, pictured here after the horror crash at the Olympics.
Laurine van Riessen was hospitalised after the horror crash at the Olympics. Image: Getty

Dutch rider Laurine van Riessen was hospitalised on Thursday night after a horrific cycling crash in the women's keirin race at the Olympics.

Van Riessen's bid for an Olympic keirin medal was ended in devastating fashion after a high-speed crash involving Britain's Katy Marchant at the Izu Velodrome.

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Van Riessen lost control of her front wheel in her quarter-final heat, sliding across into the path of Marchant before both riders fell.

The Dutch rider received medical treatment for several minutes on the track before she was put on a stretcher and carried away for further assessment.

Dutch media reported that the 33-year-old, who appeared to have briefly blacked out, had regained consciousness before being transferred to hospital.

According to reports she has suffered multiple broken ribs, a broken collarbone and bruised lung.

Van Riessen's Dutch teammate Shanne Braspennincx then delivered a brilliant ride in the final to claim the gold medal.

Braspennincx said she tried sending a message to van Riessen but had to quickly switch her focus to the medal shootout.

"Coach Hugo Haak said that our team doctor is with her," Braspennincx told reporters.

Laurine van Riessen and Katy Marchant, pictured here after colliding in frightening scenes.
Laurine van Riessen and Katy Marchant collided in frightening scenes. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

"He told me she's in good hands. I was worried about her, she went to the hospital, but at that moment I have to make the switch and focus on myself.

"I know it's part of (bike racing) but this is what you really don't want."

Marchant managed to get back up and finish the race but failed to qualify for the semi-finals.

"It's not my day is it," Marchant she said.

"We were all fighting a bit on the inside and I'm not sure if someone hit into Laurine or what but she came down in front of me and I had nowhere to go."

Marchant said she would be back for Friday's individual sprint event.

"(I'm) a bit battered and bruised but I'm all right," she said.

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Shanne Braspennincx's incredible comeback gold

A dominant ride in the final of an event rooted in Japanese culture earned Braspennincx easily the biggest win of her career - six years after she suffered a heart attack.

When she became unwell while racing in Colorado in 2015 she was taken to hospital and told she had suffered a heart attack.

Devastating enough news for anyone, let alone an elite cyclist eyeing the Rio Olympics.

Understandably she thought her career was over.

"I thought so yeah, a heart attack isn't like something you have when you are an athlete," Braspennincx, who required surgery to widen an artery that had become totally blocked and also had a stent fitted, said.

"It was a long six months to see if I was able to get the green light to be an athlete again and even when I did it was not smooth sailing to get back to my old level and to get the trust back in my body because that had left me."

with agencies

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