Olympic gold medalist Matt Walls was hospitalized after being sent flying over the barriers and into the crowd following a huge crash on day three of the Commonwealth Games track cycling, which also saw spectators hurt.
Walls’ GB team-mate Matt Bostock, a Manx rider, was also caught up in the multi-rider crash, with both athletes being taken by ambulance to hospital alongside Canadian rider Derek Gee. One man in the crowd received treatment for cuts to his arm while a young girl also received minor attention.
Walls, who won omnium gold in Tokyo last year, was competing in the men’s scratch race on Sunday when the accident occurred.
The rest of the session – there was one sprint race left – was canceled as medical staff attended to several riders, including Walls plus spectators amid reports one was ‘wheeled off covered in blood’.
Team England initially said that Walls was “alert and talking” and “being given medical attention in hospital.”
British Cycling later updated on his condition with a statement: “Following medical treatment in hospital, Matt Walls has been discharged with stitches in his forehead, but thankfully no major injuries. Our best wishes go to all riders and spectators involved in the crash and thanks go to the medical teams for their expert care.”
Bostock also had a CT scan from which the initial prognosis was said to be positive. The 25-year-old was being assessed to check he had no other serious injuries.
A statement from Team Isle of Man said: “Team Isle of Man wishes to extend its best wishes to the other cyclists involved in the incident, in particular Matt Walls, and to the spectators who were injured and affected by the crash.”
The PA news agency reported that witnesses said that, because of the gradient of the knocking, spectators in the front row had been unseen before the crash.
Walls had been trying to avoid riders who had fallen in an incident that began on the entrance to the corner. The stricken pair of New Zealander George Jackson and Australia’s Josh Duffy were sliding up the bank, forcing Walls up on to the barrier and then over it.
Canadian Gee also surfed the top of the barrier but managed to avoid following Walls in the stands. Canadian Mathias Guillemette was disqualified for causing the initial crash.
A Birmingham 2022 spokesperson said: “Following a crash at the 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.”
A London Ambulance Service spokesperson: “We were called at 1:05pm today to reports of an incident at the Lee Valley velodrome. We sent three ambulance crews to the scene. Our crews have treated three patients for injuries and are in the process of taking all three to hospital.”
It was the second heavy crash involving Team England riders in the space of two days after sprinter Joe Truman briefly lost consciousness before being taken away in a wheelchair following a collision with Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer in the second round of the men’s keirin on Saturday.