Kenny: I nearly withdrew from Commonwealth Games race after ‘horrendous’ Walls crash

Walls toppled over the London velodrome barriers in an incident that shocked the sporting world, with latest updates confirming he is ‘alert and talking’ in hospital

<p>Medal chase: England's Laura Kenny, Josie Knight, Maddie Leech and Sophie Lewis on their way to winning bronze in the Women's 4000m Team Pursuit. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.</p>

Medal chase: England's Laura Kenny, Josie Knight, Maddie Leech and Sophie Lewis on their way to winning bronze in the Women's 4000m Team Pursuit. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

Laura Kenny revealed she nearly pulled out of her Commonwealth Games race after the ‘horrendous’ Matt Walls crash.

Walls toppled over the London velodrome barriers in an incident that shocked the sporting world, with latest updates confirming he is ‘alert and talking’ in hospital.

Five-time Olympic champion Kenny revealed she was so shaken that she nearly withdrew from the women’s points race that took place a few hours later.

She said: “It was horrendous. It was playing on my mind earlier, I messaged Jason and said ‘I’m not sure I even want to do this.’

“It just puts everything into perspective when something like that happens. I’m just glad he was conscious straight away because the Joe (Truman) crash was enough.

“It’s a dangerous sport, we all know it’s dangerous. When you’re not feeling physically fit enough to put yourself at the front of it, you wonder why you’re doing it.”

The 30-year-old cited two separate recent incidents of seeing riders topple over crash barriers and is deeply concerned by the trend.

“I think the crashes are getting worse because the speeds are getting higher. The positions are getting more extreme. We’re getting more aerodynamic which means yo udo travel faster

“That’s the third time I’ve been in a velodrome and watched someone go over the top. Is the top of it too dangerous?

“If Matt had come back onto the track, it would have done less damage.”

Kenny rated her chances of an individual medal as ‘slim to none’ after taking bronze in the women’s team pursuit on the opening day of racing.

She wasn’t wrong as she struggled badly in the points race and sank to 13th place, picking up just six points in the intermediate sprints.

Gold was won by Australia’s Georgia Baker but there was a healthy home nations presence on the podium with Kenny’s British team-mate Neah Evans taking silver for Scotland and Wales’s Eluned King bronze.

Kenny was exasperated at how the race played out and led to one of her lowest finishing placings in a major championship race.

She said: “Tactically from my point of view it was terrible. It’s always difficult when you’ve got team-mates in the race.

“I shouted at Josie (Knight) to go because if no-one from England was in the break, all of us would be a lap down. After that it was just trying to get someone in every move.

“You get a good realisation of where your form is at after you ride the team pursuit and I knew I didn’t feel great in that. It’s the same power you do in the sprint that you do on the front.

“From the second sprint that I went for it I was like, ‘wow, I haven’t got this.’”

Kenny is entered to ride in tomorrow’s scratch race, her third and final event at this Games,

“It’s a little bit fingers crossed to be honest,” she said. “We’ve got team-mates in the race so there are tactics we can still apply tomorrow."

National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes.