American BMX racer Connor Fields is awake, stable and awaiting further medical evaluation at the hospital, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee chief medical officer Dr. Jon Finnoff said in a statement.

“We can confirm that Connor Fields is awake and awaiting further medical evaluation. We will share additional updates as they become available,” the USA cycling team doctor said.

Fields was injured during his third run in the semi-finals and had to be removed from the course at Ariake Urban Sports Park on a stretcher. Fields slammed into the turn coming off a jump and was hit by two other riders. Medical personnel raced onto the course to attend to him before carrying him away on a stretcher to an ambulance at Ariake Urban Sports Park.

Australia’s Saya Sakakibara also crashed in the semi-finals during her race. Sakakibara was medically cleared after 30 minutes of mild concussion symptoms following her crash.

Dutch rider Niek Kimmann won gold in the event. “Connor is the defending gold medalist,” Kimmann said. “I haven’t seen the crash, but I hope he’s OK. He’s been a great ambassador for the sport. For me, it’s sad he wasn’t able to defend his gold medal.”

At the Rio Games in 2016, Fields became the first American BMX rider to win gold. Heading into the Tokyo Olympics, he was the heavy favorite.

an Olympian for the United States in BMX, believes that trial and error, as well as the use of technology, are critical facets of developing an ability to avoid such crashes.

At the Olympic Media Summitt in June, Fields told uSports how he tries to avoid crashes: “That’s the goal anyway, you try not to crash. We’ve ridden so much and part of what drew me to BMX originally was that every course is different, every track is different, every time you race is going to be completely different,” Fields said at a Team USA media summit earlier this summer. “I guess it’s the opposite of track and field or swimming where it’s very consistent it’s always kind of the same, so I’ve ridden so many different jumps and so many different courses over my life that I have a pretty good ability to look at a course and kind of dissect it and figure out what is going to be the fastest way through a particular section or obstacle, and then we are given time on the course before race day to try things out, so sometimes we’ll use technology such as dark fish where you can try multiple different options through one section and then you can put them up next to each other to compare and see which one is faster, but it is a bit of trial and error and as a young rider when you’re a kid you go through that trial and a lot of error when you’re learning how to judge things and how far maybe to jump or if you should stay on the ground or not, and you take your knocks, you crash a little bit or you make some mistakes, but that’s just kind of part of the process that that we have to go through when we’re learning how to do it.” Check oy the video here. 

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