Olympic athlete in Canary Islands crash

James Ellington. Pic Instagram @jimmyells

An Olympic sprinter may be forced to give up his career after a horrific motorbike crash in Tenerife where he was attending a training camp.

James Ellington, 31, who was born in Lewisham, and his team mate Nigel Levine were severely injured in a head-on collision with a car in Tenerife on Wednesday. Ellington has been diagnosed with a broken pelvis and fibula and latest reports suggest he may have broken BOTH legs.  Levine is believed to have broken his pelvis. Both are currently in hospital receiving intensive treatment.

A few hours after the accident Ellington made a post on Instagram, saying he was “overwhelmed and truly touched by everyone’s messages and support.”

He added: “I truly am blessed as I do not know how me or my training partner Nigel are still alive. Me and him are both strong characters and will be looking to bounce back from this horrific accident.”

The British Athletics Federation released a statement confirming that the condition of the athletes was not life threatening. It said: “Both athletes are receiving medical treatment and are conscious and stable. British Athletics medical staff are with the athletes and liaising with hospital staff over their treatment.” It added that British Athletics officials were in touch with the men’s families in the UK and were arranging for them to travel to Tenerife.

Ellington started his career at Crystal Palace Sports Centre and has represented Great Britain at two Olympics, London 2012 and Rio 2016. He won the European Championship twice with the British 4x100m relay team in 2014 and last year. Two years ago he brought England a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games 2014. His team mate Nigel Levine is a member of British 400m relay squad.

Ellington and Levine had been preparing for the World Championships due to take place in London this summer. Even if they are eventually able to resume competitive careers, officials believe they will be will be ruled out of the races until the end of the year.

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