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Kai Sakakibara: Australian BMX star left in a medically-induced coma after horrific crash in Australia

Kai Sakakibara: Australian BMX star left in a medically-induced coma after horrific crash in Australia
Olympic BMX contender Kai Sakakibara was left in a medically-induced coma after sustaining severe head injuries at a race at the weekend.

Sakakibara's crash occurred in the opening heat of the World Cup event at Bathurst on Saturday. He was treated on the scene by paramedics, then airlifted to nearby Canberra Hospital, where he underwent surgery and was placed in a medically-induced coma.

It is expected that he will remain in the coma for the next two weeks.

"Kai was involved in a serious racing accident on Saturday at the UCI BMX World Cup event in Bathurst," said a statement from Sakakibara's family.

"Medics and a doctor were on site and were able to manage the situation and provide support to assist with his breathing. They sedated Kai and he was airlifted by helicopter to Canberra Hospital where he was placed in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).

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"Kai has suffered a severe head injury which will need time to settle before we have a more accurate understanding of his prognosis. An operation on Sunday morning relieved some pressure on his brain and he has been placed in a medically induced coma to help his body relax.

"Kai’s condition is described as critical but stable, he is in good hands and under 24-hour monitoring. We are expecting he will remain in a medical coma for the next two weeks or so."

Both Sakakibara and his younger sister Saya were tipped for stardom at the Tokyo Olympic Games later this year, with the pair set to return to the nation where they spent much of their early years.

Now Kai's dreams have been halted as the family rallies around hoping he can make a full recovery from his injuries.

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