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Scot who broke her back aims to be fit to ride at Glasgow 2014

Charline Joiner fractured 3 vertebrae in crash last month - but she’s already back training despite the pain

A Commonwealth Games silver medallist who fractured three bones in her spine following a training crash in Spain last month has said she hopes to recover in time to compete in this year’s event in Glasgow.

Charline Joiner, aged 25, sustained her injuries following a touch of wheels with team-mate Kerry MacPhee. The pair were taking part in a Team Scotland training camp in Girona as part of their preparation for the Games.

Speaking of the crash today to Capital FM Scotland, she said: “The pain was like an electric shock going through my body,” reports The Courier.

“I did not think for one minute that I would have broken my back, I was wriggling my toes, moving my arms, my head, everything was fine, It was just really painful to move. If I even moved my leg a millimetre it was excruciating pain.”

A CT scan undertaken the following day showed that she had fractured her spine in three places.

“I just didn’t know what was wrong so finding out what was wrong was good, but that whole night before I was thinking of my options, am I going to be able to cycle again, and I was thinking towards the Paralympics and things like that, things going through your head,” she recalled.

“As the weeks went on I was thinking I’m actually really lucky because if I had landed a bit to the left or the right it could have been a lot worse.”

Joiner was able to come home with her team-mates at the conclusion of the training camp, and despite the pain she still suffers, she is back training in a bid to get fit in time for selection for Glasgow this summer.

“I managed to get on a real bike, a turbo static bike,” she revealed. “I had a few tears of joy when I was sitting on my bike in my cycling shoes again.

“It’s amazing that I’m back on the bike so soon after breaking the lower part of my back. It is so painful still but it’s just a bit of pain. Nothing will compare to that first week where to move a centimetre was painful.”

She remains realistic about her chances of competing, however, saying: “If I can’t go because my injury is holding me back then I know it’s not possible and it wasn’t meant to be,” she said.

“But I’m going to do everything in my power to get back and better than the fitness that I was at when I crashed - and I think it’s possible.

“I think anything is possible if you believe it, especially in sport it’s all about self belief, confidence.

“If you think you can make it then you will and right now I’m on an upward spiral so I’m going to be there, that’s what I’m saying.”

Joiner started cycling at the age of 19 and two years later in 2010 won team sprint silver at Delhi in the Jenny Davies, the Scottish women losing the final to Australia’s Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch.

She now focuses on endurance events on the track as well as on road racing, finishing 16th in her debut British Road Race Championship in Glasgow last June.

In Glasgow, her aim was to ride in the scratch race and points race, and possibly the road race too.

On the prospect of competing in her home country, she said: “I’ve dreamt about it for the last four years since the last Games.

“I’ve already made a massive change going from sprint track cycling to endurance cycling in that period of time and I am so determined that I have to be there.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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