|September 16, 2000
may cost Montgomery second event
By ALLAN MAKI
Globe and Mail
Sydney Carol Montgomery's
Saturday-morning bike crash may have cost her two shots at an
Olympic medal. The first to go was a possible podium finish
in the Olympic debut of women's triathlon. Now, with a bruised
body and a possible fractured left wrist, Montgomery may be
out of the running in the 10,000 metres event set for Sept.
27 at Stadium Australia.
Montgomery, Canada's top female
triathlete, was sent headfirst into the pavement during a three-bike
crash midway through the cycling portion of the Sydney triathlon.
She fell so hard that the force of the impact shattered her
bike helmet and took her out of the competition.
Sharon Donnelly, of Ottawa, also
crashed while cycling but was able to get back into the race
and finish 38th. Isabelle Turcotte-Baird of Quebec City was
the top Canadian finishing 31st.
I hit my head so hard I
was surprised I was still awake, said Montgomery, 34,
from North Vancouver, who will undergo x-rays tomorrow to determine
the severity of her wrist injury. I couldn't believe I
could hit my head that hard. It shattered my helmet ... I sort
of prepared myself for the worst and the worst happened. I have
another chance in 11 days to redeem myself and hopefully that
will go better.
Even if x-rays show her wrist
is not broken, Montgomery admitted that missing out on the triathlon's
10-kilometers run, along with training time in the next few
days, would seriously affect her chances of doing well in the
10,000, her favourite of the two events.
I know I'll be a lot more
sore tomorrow. I'm not going to go out there and embarrass myself
on the track, especially after what happened today. I'll know
better in a couple of days, she said.
Montgomery leveled no criticism
at Great Britain's Sian Brice, the cyclist who fell and caused
the crash that took out Montgomery. Instead, Montgomery said
the course here was too narrow and that organizers should have
done more to enhance the safety of the athletes. All totaled,
there were eight women who fell during the 40-kilometre bike
The men usually have a
crash or two but it's rare for the women to crash. It's definitely
the course. Was there pressure on the racers to do well? That
was part of it. The course was so narrow, and along the way
there were manhole covers and potholes, she said. That's
the problem in our sport with motorcycles on course and trying
to make it spectator friendly and TV friendly.
The potholes and manhole covers,
at least put a warning sign ... They (race organizers) try to
make compromises. I guess this is the best they can do.
Montgomery's only other crash
in a triathlon was seven years ago when a motorcycle cut her
off. Since then, she had overcome several obstacles, including
surgery in her left leg, to be ranked as one of the top triathletes
in the world. She said it would be unfair if she now had to
sit out the 10,000.
I wouldn't be a happy camper,
that's for sure.
Switzerland's Brigitte McMahon
and Magali Messmer won the gold and bronze medal, respectively.
Australian Michellie Jones took the silver.
reprinted with permission
to Triathlon Index