James Ellington: Sprinter targets shock return at 2018 Commonwealth Games

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James Ellington wants to back on the track at the Commonwealth Games next year

British sprinter James Ellington is targeting a shock return at next year’s Commonwealth Games after a motorbike crash which nearly killed him.

The 31-year-old broke his pelvis and both legs in the accident in January while on a training camp in Tenerife with fellow sprinter Nigel Levine.

The Olympian took his first steps two weeks later, despite being told he would be in a wheelchair for six weeks.

Now he is hoping to compete at the Games in Australia in April 2018.

“I continue to aim high, which is why I say next year I want to be back on the track,” Ellington said. “If my mind is in that place and I miss by a small margin at least I’ll be doing some sort of sport.

“Personally I think I’m going to be back next year. The doctors and surgeons said I’d never be able to run again. Going back to the sport and what I do, that’s been my rock to lean on and push me forward.”

Levine also fractured his pelvis when the pair were hit by a car driven around a bend on the wrong side of the road.

Ellington is a 100m and 200m specialist and two-time Olympian, who was a key member of Great Britain’s gold medal-winning 4x100m relay teams at the 2014 and 2016 European Championships.

If he does not make the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, he has the European Championships in Berlin next August and the World Championships in Doha in 2019 in his sights.

“From the very beginning I told the doctors and surgeons what my goals were to come back,” he added.

“They looked at me a bit dubious like ‘I don’t know about that’. But I’ve proved them wrong so far so now they’re starting to believe me.

“About two-and-a-half, three weeks ago it just clicked and I was able to walk without a limp.

“It’s just a milestone along the way and the next will be jogging. I know my body really well and in the next two or three weeks I may be able to start jogging.”

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