Rio Olympics: Team GB BMX rider Liam Phillips grateful for support
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 19/08/16 3:51pm
Liam Phillips says he is struggling to put into words how devastated he is after a crash during the BMX quarter-finals ended his Rio Olympics early.
Phillips reached the final at London 2012, becoming world champion a year later and winning the World Cup series in 2014 and 2015.
The Burnham-on-Sea rider was one of the favourites in Rio but a first-corner crash with Switzerland's David Graf in his first quarter-final run, left the 27-year-old needing treatment for a minor concussion.
Phillips admits his premature exit is difficult to take after battling back from a broken collarbone and thanked British Cycling's support staff, coach Grant White and girlfriend Jess Varnish.
"I'm not even going to try and sum up how I feel right now," he wrote on Twitter. "I'm beyond devastated and will be for some time I'm sure.
"Sixty-two days ago I smashed my left collarbone into five pieces. With the help of an unbelievable group of people and some hard yards I got to the start gate in the best possible shape. It wasn't the fairytale ending I'd hoped for (far from it) but that small group of people at least gave me the opportunity to give it a go.
"My biggest thank you is for my girlfriend. It wasn't an easy few weeks. She did everything to make sure every box was ticked and I could get back on the bike ASAP and prepare for these Olympic Games."
A Team GB spokesman said: "Following a crash yesterday, Liam suffered a concussion and required further assessment in hospital as a precaution. He has been discharged under medical supervision. He will be reviewed by the British Cycling medical team to allow him to follow a graduated return to sport. He is expected to make a full recovery in due course."