Ostergaard crashes out just at the wrong time

Ulrich Ostergaard after crashing out of the Premier League Fours. Picture: David Lowndes
Ulrich Ostergaard after crashing out of the Premier League Fours. Picture: David Lowndes
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Panthers captain Ulrich Ostergaard faces up to six weeks of injury frustration after suffering three broken bones in his left hand.

The Danish ace was involved in a high-speed spill with Ipswich rider Nico Covatti during the semi-finals of the Premier League Fours at the East of England Showground on Sunday.

The two men, who are team-mates in the Danish League, tangled going through the second bend in heat six and ploughed into the back-straight fence. Argentinian ace Covatti suffered a broken finger.

Ostergaard said: “There is never a good time for a speedway rider to get injured, but it is really frustrating for it to happen now.

“It is such an important part of the season with a lot of big meetings ahead and I also had some guest bookings lined up.

“I lifted a bit going through the corner and I just couldn’t get the throttle off. Nico was leaning in on me and I ended up pushing him wide and we both went into the fence.

“It is never nice to be involved in a big crash or to see a fellow rider hurt. No-one ever sets out to do that but we know it is a dangerous sport and we know these things do happen sometimes.

“I’m in plaster up to my elbow and I’ve got a check-up at the end of next week. I’ll know more after that but it goes without saying that I want to be back on the bike and racing as soon as possible.

“Hopefully I can get back later this month, but if that’s not possible I definitely want to be back riding again for September.

“I’m sure the boys can keep picking up results while I’m out and make sure we get into the play-offs.”

It was a second crash of the afternoon for Ostergaard who had earlier been unable to avoid the broken down machine of Edinburgh rider Justin Sedgmen in the third heat. He had emerged unscathed from that incident.

Ostergaard added: “Two big crashes on one afternoon is a lot for the body to take. I’m feeling a bit older than I normally do and everything hurts – my shoulder, my ribs, my knee and obviously my hand.”

The Panthers quartet of Ostergaard, Lewis Blackbird, Michael Palm Toft and late replacement Emil Grondal bowed out of the Fours after bringing up the rear in their semi-final.

They could manage only six points from eight rides between them.

The meeting was eventually abandoned after Newcastle rider Lewis Kerr had to be airlifted to hospital following an awful accident in the early stages of the final.


Semi-final one: Ipswich 18, Edinburgh 13, Workington 11, Panthers 6.

Semi-final two: Newcastle 17, Somerset 13, Rye House 12, Glasgow 6.

Final: Ipswich 6, Newcastle 3, Edinburgh 2, Somerset 0 (abandoned after two heats due to serious injury).