Having recorded his fastest ever times in both the 100m and 200m disciplines, James Ellington who was 31 last season defied age to unexpectedly come second in the British Championships in the 100m and qualify for the Rio Olympics.
Dreams of reaching the World Championships in his hometown, London, later on this year were dashed due to a motorbike accident Ellington sustained with 400m runner Nigel Levine. Ellington could be on crutches until the summer.
Levine missed out on an individual spot at the Olympics after finishing fifth at the trials but was a member of the 4 x 400m relay squad in which the British team was disqualified for a controversial lane infringement in the changeover.
The pair were at a training camp in Tenerife on warm weather training with other British Olympians when disaster struck on 17th January.
Unconfirmed reports stated that Levine, who is an experienced motorbike rider, did nothing wrong and was hit by a tourist who was unaccustomed to driving on the right side of the road.
Many well-wishers consisting of both fans and fellow athletes sent their regards via Twitter.
Sprinter Chijindu Ujah who was edged into third place by Ellington at the UK Olympic trials called for everyone to “come together as a tracknation & pray for @Jellington100m and @NigelLevine to make a speedy recovery credit to them for staying strong.”
Responding to the support, Ellington said on his Instagram page:
“Overwhelmed and truly touched by everyone’s messages and support, I truly am blessed as I do not know how me or my training partner Nigel are still alive.”
A week after the crash, Ellington revealed that he had “been through some dark days this week, but have my operation today and start my road to recovery” after returning back to the UK by air ambulance with Levine.
Levine, however, has not Tweeted since the accident, having retweeted a message from 400m athlete Martyn Rooney after his final training session.
“Had a great session with @NigelLevine looking forward to seeing him race! Nice to finish with @rabahyousif_r @Jellington100m #London2017.”
The British athletics medical team stated that “James and Nigel both suffered pelvic injuries in the accident, with James also sustaining a facial fracture and fractures of the tibia and fibula.”
Pelvic injuries are career-threatening for sprinters and could end both athletes’ careers in the sport.
Despite the ordeal, Ellington remained positive and uploaded an Instagram photo of himself at the Olympics with the caption “Onwards and upward.”