Cyclist Williamson could have been paralysed


British track cyclist Victoria Williamson is targeting a return to the highest level as she recovers from an accident which could have left her paralysed.

The 2013 team sprint World Championship bronze medallist fractured her neck and back, dislocated her pelvis and slipped a disc in her neck after a collision with Elis Ligtlee of the Netherlands in a sprint heat at the Rotterdam Six-Day in January.

Williamson, 22, spent four weeks in hospital and revealed she is fortunate to be have been told she will be able to walk again - let alone return to the track.

She told BBC Look East: "They were pretty sure paralysis was going to be the outcome while I was in Rotterdam, but luckily I pulled through.

"Being an athlete, I think they said because my neck and back were so strong I was able to withstand the force. Although I did break a few bones, my spinal cord stayed intact and I'm here to live another day."

She added: "I have no memories [of the accident], which is probably pretty good. It's not going to put me off in the future,

"I remember holding onto the fence getting ready to roll up to the final and then next thing I know I was in hospital and someone was telling me I'd had an accident. I just responded with 'did I win?'. That was all I was worried about."

Williamson is now determined to ensure the race in the Netherlands will not be her last.

She said: "I'm going to get back on a bike eventually. I've got no timescale yet, but I don't know what level I'll be able to get to. I'll give it a good go.

"I've got the full support team behind me, I've got physios, doctors. We've got the world's best. At the end of the day, we're a great programme, so I've got every chance of getting back to where I was."