Team GB sprinters 'lucky to be alive' after motorbike crash

The careers of James Ellington and Nigel Levine could be over after the pair were badly hurt in Tenerife

James Ellington
(Image credit: jimmyells / Instagram)

British Olympic sprint star James Ellington is in intensive care in a Spanish hospital following a motorbike crash that has left him with career-threatening injuries.

His Team GB colleague Nigel Levine, who was also involved in the accident, has also been seriously injured. He too remains in hospital.

"Ellington has had surgery on an open fracture that pierced his skin following a horror motorbike accident in Tenerife on Tuesday," reports The Sun. "The Olympic sprinter faces a fight to save his career as a result of the shocking crash that also left him with a broken pelvis and smashed eye socket."

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His family has flown out to Spain to be with him while he undergoes tests.

Levine, who was taken to a different hospital to Ellington, is also thought to have a broken pelvis

The pair, who were in Tenerife with other members of Team GB on a warm weather training camp, were riding on a motorbike when the crash happened. They "rounded a bend and collided with a hire car driven by a tourist, travelling on the wrong side of the road", reports the Daily Mail.

"There are no rules to stop athletes using motorbikes, though UK Sport contracts warn against funded sportsmen and women putting themselves at unnecessary risk," says the paper. "However, both were wearing helmets and Levine, who was driving, rides a motorcycle in London, so is very experienced."

In an Instagram post from his hospital bed Ellington said he and Levine were lucky to survive the crash.

"Overwhelmed and truly touched by everyone's messages and support, I truly am blessed as I do not know how me or my training partner Nigel are still alive," he wrote.

However, both athletes will miss the rest of the season and "may never run competitively again", says the Daily Mirror.

Ellington, who raised the money to compete in the 2012 London Olympics by looking for sponsors online, won gold in the 4x100m relay at the 2014 and 2016 European Championships and relay silver in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He also competed in the London and Rio Olympics.

Levine, a 400m runner, has helped Britain win eight world and European relay medals.

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