|By Ian Hanson, Swimming World's Australian correspondent
BRISBANE, Australia, September 29. THE immediate future of Olympic swimmer Kenrick Monk is in jeopardy after the Brisbane-based star was knocked unconscious in a hit-and-run accident while riding his push bike to training yesterday afternoon.
X-rays have revealed two broken bones in his elbow and he will visit a specialist today to confirm the extent of the injuries.
Monk, who was hit just minutes from the pool at St Peters Western Lutheran College at Indooroopilly, is lucky to be alive.
The popular Australian Swim Team member, who has been on the Aussie squad for the past six years, including the 2008 Olympics and the 2009 and 2011 World Championships and 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games was considered a big chance of making Australia's London Olympic relay squad.
He now faces a race against time to get back into training with the Trials just six months away.
Monk was picked up and assisted to the Wesley Hospital by fellow squad members Ned McKendry, Nick D'Arcy and three-time Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Rice.
It was medical student D'Arcy, who convinced Monk to go to hospital and to ensure he had the X-rays taken.
Monk has told police, coach Michael Bohl and members of his St. Peters Western Squad that he was run down on purpose.
Bohl, only back from a month-long trip to the USA, where he took in the U.S. Coaches Conference, said his star 200m freestyler told him he remembers the driver and passengers in the car sky-larking just before the crash.
"That's about all he remembers before blacking out," Bohl said today. "He has given the police a couple of numbers on the number plate to assist them with their investigation. It was Ned (McKendry) who went to scene and Stephanie (Rice) and Nick (D'Arcy) who is studying medicine who ensured he was in the best of care. Kenny rang me this morning and said he was in quite a deal of pain and confirmed there were a couple of cracks in his elbow and at this stage he could be out of the water for between six and eight weeks. It's a cruel blow to his preparations for the Olympic Trials (in Adelaide next March) but we won't really know the full extent of what lies ahead until he sees the specialist later today. But if that's the case then it could well be a bitter blow to his preparations and he will face a race against time to be ready – but at his best I would certainly expect him to be part of a very competitive 4x200 freestyle relay team, particularly in Ian Thorpe decides to swim the 200m."
In a statement issued by Swimming Australia later in the day, Monk said: "I still feel a bit sore, but also very lucky.
"I have broken my elbow in two places which is obviously really disappointing at this stage of the preparation for the Olympic Trials in March next year. It was a P Plate driver and I believe it was done on purpose. I can't remember too much after I was hit, but I know I wasn't doing anything wrong. I've made a statement to the police and hopefully this is a strong reminder for drivers to keep an eye out for cyclists on the road. I was really lucky."
Monk has been a member of the Australian 4x200m freestyle team since the Commonwealth Games in 2006 where he also gained an individual swim when Thorpe withdrew with illness.
The former Sydney-sider was a member of the gold medal winning team in the 4x200m freestyle relay at last year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi and in 2008 won the FINA World Short Course Championship in the 200m and as a member of the 4x200m freestyle relay.
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Courtesy of: Ian Hanson