The Olympic dream of one of the South West’s brightest medal hopes was hanging in the balance last night after he broke his collarbone in the world championship competition.
BMX rider Liam Phillips, from Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset, was stretchered off after a nasty fall where he was thrown over his bike’s handlebars at the competition in Birmingham.
The 23-year-old was taken to hospital and within hours had confirmed via micro-blogging website Twitter than he had broken his collarbone.
Those injuries can take 12 weeks to heal, and the BMX event at the Olympics in London begins on August 8 – in 11 weeks’ time.
He later posted a message on Twitter saying: “I have a great support network and time. I’ll be there.”
British cycling’s BMX coach Grant White said he did not want to speculate on the Somerset champion’s prospects of making the Olympic competition.
“It was a massive impact. He was in a lot of pain and there was quite a bit of swelling. We’ve just got to keep our fingers crossed at the moment,” he said.
Phillips, who now lives in Manchester, was one of Somerset’s finest hopes for an Olympic medal.
He competed at the 2008 Beijing Games, and as well as ten consecutive British Championship titles and a European Championship, he has been in second place at the World Championships on two occasions before this weekend’s event.
The Burnham boy had claimed a silver medal in Friday’s time-trial before Saturday’s crash.