Australian cyclist Renee Junga (20) will undergo surgery on Friday in the wake of a crash during training for the 4X (4 cross) for the MTB World Championships in Rotorua, New Zealand. "It was at the first double on the course," said Junga from her hospital bed. "I noticed the other girls were falling short on the jump so I put in an extra crank and missed it badly and flat landed."
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.
Junga has been buoyed by the well wishes, flowers and balloons sent by her friends in the cycling community. Her mother, Sallie Howie, arrived in Auckland last night and will be joined by husband Alistair, Junga's stepfather, tonight.
Junga, who won the silver medal at last year's BMX World Championships in France, was the 2005 Australian Female BMX Cyclist of the Year.
Meantime Renee's team mate, former MTB World Champion, Wade Bootes, will spend the night in Rotorua Hospital after crashing the warm up for today's qualifying round of the 4X competition. Bootes has suffered a broken nose, broken collarbone and concussion and will be kept in overnight for observation.