Miraculous Recovery: Lina Marcela Hernandez Wins Gold After Bike Accident
In a twist of fate, Lina Marcela Hernandez, the renowned Antioquian cyclist, faced another setback during the Women’s Giro d’Italia. In a fall during the final stage, she suffered injuries including broken teeth, a bruised cheekbone, and lacerations. The emotional toll was perhaps greater than the physical pain, leaving her feeling helpless and worried.
Just two days before the time trial competition at the National Games in the Coffee Axis, Hernandez lost control of her bicycle during a reconnaissance of the route between Pereira and Armenia. The accident left her battered and bruised, raising doubts about her ability to compete.
Initial concerns about fractures were alleviated after medical examinations revealed no such injuries. Hernandez recalls, “When I went to the hospital, I was very worried because several parts of my body were swollen. My right hand still hurts, which at that moment became like a potato (laughs).” Thanks to the dedicated physiotherapists and doctors from Indeportes Antioquia, she made a remarkable recovery in record time and was able to participate in the race.
Against all odds, Hernandez emerged victorious, clinching the gold medal in the time trial event with a time of 27 minutes and 42 seconds over a 20.7-kilometer route. This victory marked her successful defense of the title she had previously won in the Bolívar National Games-2019. Sharing the podium were Ana Cristina Sanabria from Santander, who claimed the silver medal, and Diana Peñuela from Caldas, who secured the bronze.
Reflecting on her triumph, Hernandez expressed her joy, saying, “I am still very happy with the gold medal I won. It holds a special meaning after the mishap that put my participation in doubt. Making the last-minute decision to compete and succeeding was an unforgettable experience amidst adversity.” Born in El Carmen de Viboral, Hernandez has established herself as one of the finest cyclists from Antioquia and Colombia in recent years.
Hernandez initially made a name for herself in racing skating, winning several events at the regional level. However, her transition to cycling showcased her exceptional talent. Since 2018 and 2021, she has been the national time trial champion in the sub-23 category, as well as in the elite category in 2022 and 2023.
But her prowess extends beyond the road; Hernandez is also a force to be reckoned with on the track.
Last month, together with Lina Rojas, she made history by securing Colombia’s first-ever gold medal in the mádison (endurance race) competition at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
Looking ahead, Hernandez is currently in Cali, preparing to compete in the track tournament at the National Games from November 18 to 21. Despite the lingering pain in her body, she remains determined to participate in the individual and team pursuit, omnium, and madison events.
When asked about the secret to her success, Hernandez emphasizes the importance of discipline. She advises aspiring athletes to respect their profession and remain steadfast in the face of obstacles.
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