Woman badly hurt in triathlon mishap

A woman is in hospital with serious head injuries after being accidentally hit by a professional athlete during the bike leg of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.

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ABU DHABI // A woman is in hospital with serious head injuries after being hit by a competitor’s bike at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.

Carly Williams, 27, a Briton, was volunteering at an aid station on Saturday near the Mina junction when the accident occurred.

Ms Williams is on artificial ventilation at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, where her condition was described as critical but stable.

Race organisers gave few details of the incident, in which Andrew Starykowicz, 29, a professional competitor from the US, sustained a shoulder injury.

Starykowicz cycled back to the starting line where he was treated by the race’s medical team.

Ms Williams was being visited by family, according to the British School Al Khubairat, where she works as a physical-education teacher and Year 11 tutor.

Starykowicz had broken away from the pack to catch up with the race leaders Paul Ambrose, Clayton Fettell and Faris Al Sultan, and the four were together at the 160km mark, according to a post on Twitter by the organisers at 11.26am.

But a tweet at 12.23pm read: “Starykowicz has broken his shoulder and will not be continuing. Ambrose is now in the lead followed by Faris.”

Starykowicz, a mechanical-engineering graduate from Illinois, came second in last year’s Ironman South Africa and eighth at the Ironman Hawaii.

In an interview before the race, he said he planned to tour Abu Dhabi and Dubai with his partner Jill after the triathlon. Last year he placed tenth with a time of six hours and 50 minutes.

Starykowicz could not be reached for comment yesterday.