Gruesome Splinter for Cuban Sprinter at Pan Am Games

Defending champion touched the wheel of opponent, sending her skidding along the track

Cuban spinter Lisandra Guerra crashed out during the women’s track sprint at the Pan American Games on Saturday, taking with her more than bruises.

Skidding along the track in Milton, a piece of the wooden velodrome splintered off, lodging itself in her upper arm.

The sprinter looked shocked to see the wood in her arm, yet physicians say she was tempted to continue racing, but it was clear this wasn’t possible.

The defending Pan Am women’s track sprint champion had already won two silver medals at the games, in the team sprint and keirin. She was competing in the quarter final, for a place in the semi-final on Sunday.

The crash happened after Guerra touched the rear wheel of her opponent, Mexico’s Luz Gaxiola.

Ontario’s track cycling coach, Rob Good, told reporters that the accident has nothing to do with the quality of the track. He explained that when riders crash from speeds of 60km/h, metal from the bike can scrape the wood, and cause splinters to fly into the air.

Guerra received immediate treatment, and though she was not able to defend her title, physicians say that the accident will not affect future competition.



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