GB Olympic sprinter targeting track return after bike crash

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British Olympic sprinter James Ellington wants to be back racing by next year’s Commonwealth Games, despite suffering what could have been career-ending injuries in a motorcycle crash in January.

31-year-old Ellington, who represented Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympics was riding in Tenerife when he was struck by a car driving on the wrong side of the road. The smash left him with two broken legs and a broken pelvis as well as a facial fracture.


Ellington underwent successful surgery just days after the accident and took his first steps just two weeks later, despite doctors telling him he would be in a wheelchair for six weeks. Now the 400m relay Olympic gold medallist has his sights set on the Commonwealth Games in Austria next April: “It gives me another target to aim for,” he said. “You have to aim high if you want to achieve something. Even getting out of the wheelchair early, getting off the crutches early, I’m way ahead of where they originally thought I would be.

“I continue to aim high, which is why I say next year I want to be back on the track. If my mind is in that place and I miss by a small margin at least I’ll be doing some sort of sport. Personally I think I’m going to be back next year. The doctors and surgeons said I’d never be able to run again. Going back to the sport and what I do, that’s been my rock to lean on and push me forward.

“From the very beginning I told the doctors and surgeons what my goals were to come back. They looked at me a bit dubious like ‘I don’t know about that’. But I’ve proved them wrong so far so now they’re starting to believe me.  About two-and-a-half, three weeks ago it just clicked and I was able to walk without a limp. That was a big step. It’s just a milestone along the way and the next will be jogging. I know my body really well and in the next two or three weeks I may be able to start jogging.”

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Liam Marsden

By Liam Marsden

Former MCN Web Producer