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Olympics: Defending champion Connor Fields 'stable and awake' after semifinal crash

TOPSHOT Cyclists compete in the cycling BMX racing mens quarterfinals run at the Ariake Urban Sports Park during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 29 2021 Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE AFP Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTUREAFP via Getty Images
The BMX racing at the Ariake Urban Sports Park during the quarter finals (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Connor Fields, the 2016 Olympic gold medallist from the United States, crashed in the semifinals of the men's BMX racing at the Tokyo Olympic Games and did not make it to the start gate of the medal deciding run.

The 28-year-old appeared to touch wheels with Frenchman Romain Mahieu and fell heavily face first. He remained on the ground, quickly attended to by medics as the race finished. Connor was stretchered off the field and transported to hospital.

"We can confirm that Connor Fields is awake, stable, and awaiting further medical evaluation. He will remain in the hospital under observation," said Dr. Jon Finnoff, the chief medical officer for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, according to NPR.

Fields' results in the first two semi-final runs meant he had qualified through to the the final race, with the rider from Las Vegas making the cut to eight riders despite not finishing the third and final semi-final run because of the crash. In the first of his heat's semi-final runs he finished third and in the second he came first.

His absence from the start line because of the crash meant there was one gate position left unfilled, with seven riders in the contest for the medals. The men’s final was won by Dutch rider Niek Kimmann while Kye Whyte of Great Britain claimed silver and Colombia’s Carlos Alberto Ramirez Yepes took his second bronze at the Olympics, after also having come third at Rio.

Fields entered the event as a rider to watch, winning gold at Rio and also delivering some top results in the UCI BMX Supercross since. He took the top position in the World Cup series in 2020, although like most cycling the series was seriously curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic with only two events taking place, compared to 10 in 2019.

We will update the story with further information when it is available.