GOLDEN GIRL Laura Kenny has suffered a horror crash in a dramatic high-speed collision at the Tokyo Olympics.
Britain’s five-time Olympic champion was brought down coming into the final lap of the first event of the women’s Omnium at the Izu Velodrome.
In the 30-lap Scratch Race, clumsy Italian rider Elisa Balsamo lost control of her bike on the penultimate lap and as she tumbled, she brought down at least six riders.
Unfortunately for Kenny, 29, she had nowhere to go and ended up coming off and sliding to the bottom.
The Essex rider, almost hit on the back of the head by another bike, received immediate medical attention but managed to get back on the saddle and complete the final lap albeit at a slower pace.
After a long deliberation, officials awarded Kenny just 16 points for not finishing while American Jennifer Valente led the way with 40 points.
Japan’s Yumi Kajihara was given 38 points while Australian Annette Edmondson had 36.
Though winning a third successive title is not beyond the realms of possibility, Kenny will have to perform well in the next three events and not put a foot wrong from now on.
The incident caused damage to the track and there was a brief pause as repairs were quickly made.
At times the British Cycling squad must fear their top riders are cursed, particularly Mrs Kenny who has a history of coming off her bike in spectacular fashion.
Kenny broke the right scapula in her right shoulder in a World Cup crash in Canada in January 2020.
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And when she fell at the UCI World Track Cycling Championship in Berlin a month later, the damage would have jeopardised her participation had the Olympics taken place that summer.
Sir Chris Hoy, no stranger himself to success and accidents on the track, said: "Laura is tough. As long as she has not broken anything then she will carry on.
"She is no stranger to these kind of accidents. She will think of the next race and to get into the hunt for the points."
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