Australian MTB world's rider hospitalised

Queensland cyclist Renee Junga, 20, has been airlifted to Auckland City Hospital suffering suspected...

Queensland cyclist Renee Junga, 20, has been airlifted to Auckland City Hospital suffering suspected spinal injuries after a training accident ahead of competition at the MTB World Championships in Rotorua, New Zealand, according to Cycling Australia.

Junga, who is also a member of the BMX High Performance Program targeting the Beijing Olympic Games, crashed during training on the four-cross course on Tuesday afternoon.

The Championships' medical team was quickly on the scene and she was initially taken to Rotorua Hospital. After extensive tests, including an MRI, CT scan and x-rays, doctors decided to transfer her by helicopter to Auckland City Hospital.

Her mother, Sallie Howie, was notified immediately after the accident and was on the first available flight to Auckland. She arrived shortly before midnight local time.

Doctors determined on Thursday that Junga has broken the C1 and C2 bones in her neck and has suffered spinal trauma at T6. She has also suffered two broken ribs and a fractured sternum. Surgeons will operate on Friday to screw together the C1 and C2 bones. They will also operate on her back to stabilise her spine.

Renee, who won the silver medal at last year's BMX World Championships in France, was the 2005 Australian Female BMX Cyclist of the Year.

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