(Reuters) -Additional safety measures have been introduced at the Beijing Olympics Sliding Centre after Polish slider Mateusz Sochowicz crashed during a luge training session this week, the International Luge Federation (FIL) said.
Sochowicz on Monday hit a closed barrier that should have been open on the Olympic track, leaving him with a fractured left kneecap and a cut to the bone on his right leg.
The FIL said additional safety measures had been put in place with immediate effect on Tuesday, including the “set-up of blockades at a start height once training moves to the other start”.
Organisers had also reviewed starting intervals and locations and installed a screen to cover the part of the track where lanes merge “to identify the exact position of the switch/barrier”, the FIL said in a statement.
“All parties involved feel very sorry for Mateusz Sochowicz and the Polish team and continue to do their best to safeguard the athletes safety and do anything to avoid such incidents in the future.
“FIL, together with LOC (local organising committee) and Beijing 2022, will now make sure that Sochowicz receives the best available medical treatment while in China and after his return to Poland too in view of a speedy recovery.”
In a notice posted online, which included a photo of Sochowicz giving a thumbs up from a hospital bed, the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games said that they wished him a speedy recovery.
Beijing 2022 organisers and luge officials opened an investigation after the accident, which Sochowicz said happened after he was given a green light to slide.
At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed during training on the luge run after losing control at high speed and being thrown over the sidewall of the track and into a steel support pole.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)