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Tis but a flesh wound!
February 20, 2011 11:57 PM   Subscribe

Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang is recovering in hospital after a 9-inch splinter went through his lower left leg after crashing his track bike at the cycling world cup in Manchester, England. But he still managed to finish the race in bronze medal position after remounting his bike and staggering over the finish line. [Linked pictures and video very very NSF the squeamish].

Crashes are nothing new [action starts at 3m30s] for track cycling and Kierin in particular - but Jason Queally (an Olympic gold medallist in 2000) probably had the worst of them all when he suffered a horrific crash in 1996 when "he was involved in a dreadful accident while cycling in a group race in Meadowbank. Sent crashing to the floor in a multiple pile-up, he was impaled by an 18-inch long, one-and-a-half inch wide splinter which entered through his back." [I'll spare you the photos]
posted by KirkpatrickMac (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The solution is painfully obvious:

outlaw splinters.
posted by item at 11:59 PM on February 20, 2011


Urgh, that puts me right off cocktail meatballs.
posted by jamaro at 12:03 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unlike lacerations, puncture wounds often close around whatever made the puncture, thus minimizing bleeding. Skin is much more elastic than most people realize, which enables such wonders as the human pincushion.
posted by Tube at 12:12 AM on February 21, 2011


He should get together with those who've suffered similarly and form a splinter group.
posted by rhymer at 12:43 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's not a splinter, that's a plank.
posted by bendy at 12:45 AM on February 21, 2011


I just got a brain splinter from the writing style of that article.
posted by srboisvert at 12:51 AM on February 21, 2011


No Prince Gastrocnemius Albert tag?
posted by vapidave at 2:00 AM on February 21, 2011


Keirin racing in Japan is brutal, as it's a betting sport, so there's a lot riding on each race. It's a team sport and teammates will start crashes (With nicknames like the Atom Bomb or similar) just to remove a great deal of the field.
posted by alex_skazat at 2:27 AM on February 21, 2011


Is there no footage of Azizulhasni fucked up on the funny gas?
What kind of splinter is this?
posted by mannequito at 2:33 AM on February 21, 2011


Wow, I saw the crash live yesterday and saw the NZ(?) guy stumbling over the line, and the Spanish guy sprinting and falling on his arse due to the clips on his shoes, before someone grabbed him and said it doesn't count if you don't have your bike, but I completely missed the massive splinter thing.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:14 AM on February 21, 2011


The only solution is to outlaw board tracks. Kidding, I kid.
posted by fixedgear at 3:25 AM on February 21, 2011


Sorry, posted this in a bit of a hurry earlier. This link was meant to be in there someplace as well and sort of provides the context for 'staggering across the finish line'.

Must proof read before hitting 'Post'. Must proof read before hitting 'Post'. Must...


The whole Keirin thing (in its Japanese native form - not the UCI's version) is quite fascinating - probably enough content there for a post all to itself.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 4:03 AM on February 21, 2011


Will this become a standard part of the race?
posted by three blind mice at 4:28 AM on February 21, 2011


I get that they're racing on wooden floors, and I get that splinters are made of wood, but I don't get how falling on an ultrasmooth wooden surface can instantly kick up a splinter that can impale you like that. I just can't picture it - is it somebody else's bike hitting the floor in front of him that broke the wooden floor enough to throw a splinter like that?
posted by facetious at 4:50 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's hard to see what exactly happened in the video, but Awang was in the middle of the crash, so I'm guessing one of the front riders gouged a hole in the track and Awang slid into whatever was sticking out. Remember it's the last bend of the race, so they're approaching nearly 45 miles an hour at that point... a bike hitting a wooden floor at that speed is going to do some damage.
posted by afx237vi at 5:42 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I watched the race on the bbc coverage, It just always amazes me how explosive hoy is when he puts the power on. Here is the iPlayer link if you are in the uk, race starts at about 05m:30s.

It was bad luck on Awangs part that he picked up a splinter. When a velodrome is skinned they lay the board in a way so that the grain is not facing in the same direction as the bike travels. So when you fall and your bike gouges the track you hit the splinters broad side on. The problems arise in the zone where people crash a lot, such as the descent out of a corner. They have to re-skin these area's fairly often and such you get a patch work with lots of slightly different board heights and wood ages leading to big splinters. IIRC Manchester go completely re-skinned in 2007 for the 2008 world champs so the track condition is not best considering it is a very high traffic track.
posted by Virtblue at 5:58 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


facetious: "I get that they're racing on wooden floors, and I get that splinters are made of wood, but I don't get how falling on an ultrasmooth wooden surface can instantly kick up a splinter that can impale you like that. I just can't picture it - is it somebody else's bike hitting the floor in front of him that broke the wooden floor enough to throw a splinter like that"

I have really nice hardwood floors in my house. I sometimes chase the cats in socks. If I slide-stop, There Will Be Splinters.

"Really smooth" knocks down all the ridges, but leaves the valleys of the wood grain. Smoosh some sock ( or skin) into the valley at speed, and you can pull up a nice chunk of grain.
posted by notsnot at 7:05 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


9 inches != splinter
9 inches == vampire stake
posted by antifuse at 8:45 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like a boss.

There should be some kind of special award at the end of the year for the athlete who just beasts his way through, no matter the cost, to reach the finish line.

If only so I don't feel so bad that, after that, he only ended up with the bronze.
posted by misha at 8:54 AM on February 21, 2011


Why do they still use wood planking? There are lots of alternatives, including some that would be both safer and cheaper.

Oh ya, this is the UCI with their traditional diamond frame bicycle rules that I kind of like. Heh.
posted by Chuckles at 11:29 AM on February 21, 2011


There should be some kind of special award at the end of the year for the athlete who just beasts his way through, no matter the cost, to reach the finish line.

Not a professional racer, but a Pittsburgh cyclist gets hit by stray bullet, bikes home, posts about it on internet, then goes to ER.
posted by bradbane at 12:15 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There should be some kind of special award at the end of the year for the athlete who just beasts his way through, no matter the cost, to reach the finish line.

No. I appreciate persistence. I admire courage. But risking your life in a bicycle race is kind of stupid. If you live, there will be more races. If you die or are crippled, not so much.
posted by SPrintF at 8:20 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


SPrintF, adrenaline is a really funny thing. I once broke my collarbone clean through in 2 places in a criterium crash, got up and took a free lap thinking I'd just "nerved" myself and the feeling in my right arm would come back. The official stopped me in the pit and pointed to the spot where the bone was tenting the skin and said "you should probably get the EMTs to take a look at that".

I never even felt it break.
posted by lonefrontranger at 10:37 AM on February 23, 2011


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