Olympics-Cycling-Pajon de-throned as BMX queen, Fields suffers bad crash

Colombian Mariana Pajon's long reign as queen of women's BMX racing was ended by Britain's Bethany Shriever on an accident-marred day at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday. American favourite Connor Fields, like Pajon the reigning champion in the high-octane event, was taken to hospital after a horrible crash in his semi-final in the men's event.


Reuters | Updated: 30-07-2021 09:51 IST | Created: 30-07-2021 09:51 IST
Olympics-Cycling-Pajon de-throned as BMX queen, Fields suffers bad crash

Colombian Mariana Pajon's long reign as queen of women's BMX racing was ended by Britain's Bethany Shriever on an accident-marred day at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

American favourite Connor Fields, like Pajon the reigning champion in the high-octane event, was taken to hospital after a horrible crash in his semi-final in the men's event. With Fiels unable to take his place in the final at the Ariake Urban Sports Park, Dutchman Niek Kimmann won gold.

He edged out Britain's Kye Whyte who was runner-up, and Colombia's Carlos Alberto Ramirez Yepes completed the podium. Pajon, who had won the titles in London and Rio, trailed Shriever throughout a superb final and closed the gap down the final straight but lost by a wheel.

The semi-finals had been delayed for 45 minutes because of rain but the course was dry by the time action began. Fields had looked in total control as he finished third and first in the first two runs of his semi-final heat.

But in the third run he appeared to make contact with another rider going into the first steeply-banked 180 degree turn on the snaking concrete course and pitched forward. He was treated by medics for several minutes before being taken away on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance.

It was the worst of several crashes, one of which also saw Australian rider Saya Sakakibara also require treatment although she was not badly hurt. American Alise Willoughby, second in Rio and Dutchwoman Laura Smulders, were also involved in heavy crashes and failed to make the final of the women's race.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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