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Olympics

Felicia Stancil takes fourth for Team USA in women’s Olympic BMX race finals, Connor Fields crashes out of men’s

The 2016 gold medallist Connor Fields crashes hard in semi-finals and is taken to hospital. The Texan racer has been reported as conscious.

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Felicia Stancil led home Team USA’s challenge in the men’s and women’s Olympic BMX racing Friday.

Stancil, 26, claimed fourth after narrowly missing the podium in the women’s race, that was won by Team GB’s Bethany Shriever.

Shriever, 22, won a close-fought battle with two-time gold medallist Mariana Pajon (Colombia), with the Netherland’s Merel Smulders in third.

“I’m just in bits,” Shriever said after the race. “I tried my hardest out there today and to be rewarded with a gold medal is honestly mind-blowing. I kept my cool today, kept it simple, and it worked. I’m over the moon. I’ve done my family and my boyfriend back home proud.”

Stancil was disappointed to miss out on a medal spot in her debut Olympics, but said it would give her more determination going forward.

“It’s a little bit of mixed emotions. I’m very proud to represent my country. It is a huge honor,” she said. “I definitely wanted to grab a medal for our country. But this is my first Olympics and I guess it’s just going to add fuel to the fire for more. The Olympic gold medal for Women [BMX Racing] is the only one we don’t have. So hopefully one day we can get that.”

Rio silver medalist Alise Willoughby did not make it to the final after crashing in two of her three semi-final races.

The men’s racing was overshadowed by a heavy collision involving the American 2016 gold medalist Connor Fields, Twan van Gendt (Netherlands), and Sylvain Andre (France) in the third round of the semi-finals.

Fields, 28, was riding in second on the opening corner of the Tokyo track when he tangled with leader Frenchman Romain Mathieu. The Texan fell heavily and was then run over by Andre and van Gendt. He was seen clutching his hip before being stretchered off the course and taken away in an ambulance.

The Team USA doctor later confirmed that Fields was stable. No detail was provided as to the extent of his injuries.

“We can confirm that Connor Fields is awake and awaiting further medical evaluation,” team officials confirmed. “We will share additional updates as they become available.”

Fields had done enough in the opening two rounds of the semi-finals to qualify for the final, but was unable to take the start line. Meanwhile, Corben Sharrah did not make the final after losing out in his heat.

The gold medal was later claimed by Niek Kimmann of the Netherlands, who had injured his knee during training earlier in the week after he collided with an official who was crossing the track. Britain’s Kye Whyte took the silver medal with Carlos Ramírez of Colombia in third.