Wang likely paralyzed for life after fall in competition

Updated: June 14, 2007, 1:22 AM ET
Associated Press

SHANGHAI, China -- Chinese gymnast Wang Yan is expected to be paralyzed for life following a fall from the uneven bars during the national championships, a key warmup for the Beijing Olympics.

Wang fell headfirst Sunday during the final in Shanghai, breaking her neck and losing consciousness. Doctors said she was fortunate to have survived at all given the severity of her injury, the Shanghai Daily reported.

"The patient could not react to stimulant under the chest bone, and both hands lost their capability to move," Jia Lianshun, a bone specialist with the People's Liberation Army medical corps, was quoted as saying.

Wang, whose age was given as 15 or 16, was second in the Chinese national all-around competition in 2005.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press