Former Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster ‘in a coma’ in Rio hospital after serious infection

The 33-year-old fell ill after completing a 3,000 mile charity cycle ride

Ms Webster may have contracted a rare strain of Malaria, reports say
Ms Webster may have contracted a rare strain of Malaria, reports say

Television sports presenter Charlie Webster is in hospital in Rio de Janeiro battling a “severe” infection after completing a 3,000 mile charity cycle ride to the Olympic Games.

Ms Webster, the former Sky Sports News presenter who this year hosted ITV’s Tour Series cycling race, became unwell on 6 August after watching the Olympic opening ceremony.

The 33-year-old from Sheffield was admitted to hospital where doctors thought she was dehydrated following her gruelling six-week ‘Ride to Rio’ challenge.

However, her condition deteriorated after developing a “severe complication from a bacterial infection,” according to a message posted on her Twitter account

Ms Webster may have contracted a rare strain of Malaria and has been put on life support, reported The Sun.

"Last Friday, Charlie was put into an induced coma. She remains in an induced coma and is on life support," her friend told the newspaper.

She said the presenter was "battling for survival" and her family had been flown out from the UK to be by her side.

Ms Webster had cycled 1,600 miles from Recife in the north east of the country to Rio de Janeiro in 39 days with the widower of breast cancer fundraiser and athlete Jane Tomlinson, who died in 2007.

The pair had set off on the first leg of the Ride to Rio challenge on 27 June, cycling 1,300 miles to Lisbon.

They cycled 90 miles a day with only one rest day each week before arriving at the Maracana stadium in the Brazilian capital on 4 August, when Ms Webster reportedly appeared to be in good health.

Ms Webster, a marathon runner who presented the women’s boxing in the 2012 London Olympics, was due to stay on in Rio as part of Team GB's ‘Great Britons’ campaign alongside Nick Grimshaw and Jodie Kidd.

Careers - Charlie Webster

But she shared her frustration with her fans on social media the day after she was admitted to hospital, writing: “Six weeks on the road ends in this. Very rough day, severe dehydration and infection – 2 drips and antibiotics #Rio”.

Ms Webster remained positive, telling fans on 9 August: “I'm getting there ... awful few days with serious infection #Rio.”

She posted a photo showing her lying in a hospital bed hooked up to a drip, but smiling, adding later: “Looking forward to being a part of TeamGB here at #Rio2016.”

However Ms Webster made no more posts and a statement on her Facebook and Twitter profiles on 11 August revealed how her condition had worsened.

It said: “Charlie has updated you all throughout her cycle and we know her silence was causing concern.

“On Saturday, 6th August, Charlie became unwell and was admitted to hospital in Rio de Janeiro.

“What was initially thought as dehydration, caused by her riding to Rio, has since been diagnosed as a severe complication caused by a bacterial infection.

“Charlie is receiving great care and we will update when we can.”

A Foreign Office spokesman would only confirm to the Press Association: “We are providing support to a British woman who is in hospital in Rio".

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