Joe Truman was knocked out cold and suffered a suspected broken collarbone after a horror 70km/h keirin smash that shocked the Commonwealth Games.
The 25-year-old crashed into Australian defending champion Matt Glaetzer and amid flying debris was knocked unconscious, receiving oxygen from trackside medics.
Truman was taken to hospital in a wheelchair after the second-round horror with Glaetzer’s skinsuit ripped to shreds.
Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy said: “It reminds us how tough these guys are and how brave you have to be.”
Glaetzer was one of the protagonists of the dramatic Olympic keirin final in Tokyo when the field were caught napping by Jason Kenny, an England coach here, who took gold with a long-range attack.
Two-time Commonwealth champion Glaetzer found himself boxed on the penultimate lap and caught the back wheel of New Zealand’s Sam Webster, hitting the deck and bringing Truman down with him.
Truman only returned to the track last year after a career-threatening back injury kept him out for two years. He was in such pain at one stage that he couldn’t put his socks on.
The Portsmouth native is a master in the dark arts of keirin racing, that has its origins in Japan, spending time racing professionally in the land of the rising sun.
Truman’s former housemate Jack Carlin, who went on to win silver, was in the race and just ahead of Webster when the crash happened.
Carlin said: “There’s nothing worse than watching your mate crash.
“Joe is very strong willed and a strong character. I don’t know if I could have come back from the things he’s come back from and dealt with.
“This is another hiccup in the road for him. He’s still two years away (from Paris) and looking really promising. He’ll be back stronger no doubt.
“He’s such a talented rider and it’s the consistency he’s been missing, he was starting to find it.
“Hopefully, it’s not too serious and he’ll be back on the bike again in a matter of weeks.”
Gold was won by Trinidad and Tobago’s Nicholas Paul, the 200m time trial world record holder, who stole a march on the field with a surge launched with a lap to go.
Carlin took second place on the throw from Malaysia’s Shah Sahrom and Australia’s Matthew Richardson.
He said: “I mucked up my gear choice in the final.
“It’s hard to get those big gears going by yourself nowadays, but hindsight is a lovely thing. Nicholas was a deserving winner.”
The 25-year-old is now the standard-bearer of British sprinting after Kenny’s retirement, but his wait goes on for a gold medal at a major international.
He has won eight silver and three bronze medals across Commonwealth, Olympic, world and European Championships.
The Scot said: “It’s another silver, I came here for gold.
“I race because I enjoy racing in front of crowds, the medals are bonuses in many respects. I’ve not got a gold yet but I’m 25, there are still two years to Paris, and I still feel like I’m getting stronger.”
The home nations have now won ten track cycling medals here and only one of them gold – courtesy of Scotland’s Neil Fachie.
New Zealand are cleaning up and have already taken five, dominating men’s endurance events, and Australia three.
Meanwhile the purple patch in Welsh women’s sprinting continued with individual bronze for teenager Emma Finucane.
The 19-year-old claimed a statement victory in an epic three-race battle with England’s Sophie Capewell, one of the principle riders on the Great Britain Cycling Team and a world bronze medallist.
Finucane added to the team sprint bronze she won on opening day alongside Lowri Thomas and Rhian Edmunds.
She said: “This means so much. I wasn’t expecting it, I came in wanting to do the flying 200 in qualifying. I left everything on the track, and it paid off.”
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