The story behind a 38-year-old British record

Elliot Giles clocked one minute 43.63 seconds at the Copernicus Cup in Torun, Poland, last week. Photo: Getty Images

When he was 19, Great Britain’s Elliot Giles was in what should have been a career-ending motorbike crash.

The injuries he sustained – a damaged posterior cruciate ligament, torn gluteal, severe hematoma on his back and brain damage.

That would be enough to stop many people from even thinking about running again.

But seven years later, Giles, now 26, has made middle-distance running history by clocking the second-fastest indoor 800m ever and breaking Sebastian Coe’s indoor 800m British record which had stood since 1983.

Waking up in a hospital

In July 2014, he was knocked off his motorbike by a car in central Birmingham.

“My knee was wedged in between the bike and a car, so I was trapped. I landed on the kerb and hit my head on a bollard so I blacked out.”

Giles had to learn how to walk again and he also faced a mental challenge as he struggled to read or write for a while.

Preparing for Olympics

Giles won a bronze medal at the 2016 European Championships. Photo: Getty Images

Giles was bed-bound for three weeks after the crash and on crutches for three more. By January 2015, was able to slowly jog.

By February, he was beginning to ease into training sessions on the track. But it was only in April that he started properly running again.

Fast-forward to July – just one year after the accident – Giles made the British Championships 800m final.

Since then, he has won four British titles, went to the 2016 Olympics and made a World Championships semi-final.

Source: BBC Sports