Swimming: Marshall injured in lift accident

THE 17-YEAR-OLD Melanie Marshall, in Istanbul for the European Championships with the remainder of the British team, was the victim of a freak accident yesterday which could jeopardise her participation in the remainder of the tournament, writes James Parrack. Marshall had both hands trapped in the doors of a lift for several minutes as hotel staff worked to prise her free.

Most members of the team were relaxing on the terrace of the five-star hotel when they heard screaming from the lobby, where Marshall was trapped in the lift and in distress. With her was a distraught Nicola Jackson; two of the rising stars of British swimming.

Marshall was immediately taken to the hospital, which was fortunately located next door to the hotel, with massive swelling to her hands. X- rays revealed that there are no broken bones, but it not yet known if she can expect to compete in the 50m backstroke on Saturday.

The British team manager, Craig Hunter, was one of the first on the scene. "I am satisfied that everything that could be done was done, and I am grateful to the hotel staff and the other members of the team for the prompt and efficient way in which they dealt with a very difficult and traumatic situation."

The accident happened because there was no inner door on the lift. As the lift moves there is a small gap between the lift and the structure of the building. Marshall had placed her hands on the door to the lobby as it came up to meet her, and the downward movement of the lift had trapped both her hands.

By late afternoon, Marshall, from the South Lincolnshire club, was recovering in the hotel and according to team doctor David Fodden, "in remarkably good spirits". Fodden is administering the pain killing injections and treatment for the swelling.

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