By David Owen

London 2012 beach volleyball injuryJune 8 - If you want to steer clear of injury, be an Olympic archer or a canoeist; while to avoid illness you might be better off giving beach volleyball a wide berth.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has just produced a fascinating study of injuries and illness during London 2012 - and these are some of the conclusions which can be drawn.

Published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the study recorded 1,361 injuries and 758 illnesses all told among the 10,568 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees who participated in it.

Some athletes were particularly unlucky: 114 of them suffered two injuries, 18 three and seven poor souls received medical attention four times in the less than three-week period covered by the study in July and August last year.

This left 11 per cent of athletes incurring at least one injury and seven per cent an illness.

Women suffered 60 per cent more illnesses than men.

Catalina Usme carried off during London 2012Colombia's Catalina Usme is carried off injured during the London 2012 football tournament

In three sports - taekwondo, football and BMX - the risk of an athlete getting injured was over 30 percent; in taekwondo it was almost 40 per cent.

More than half of the 64 male taekwondo athletes who participated sustained an injury.

It should be pointed out at this stage that we are not necessarily talking about anything especially debilitating.

The definition of injury used was a new or recurring musculoskeletal complaint or concussion incurred during competition or training for which medical attention was received.

Two-thirds of the injuries were estimated not to result in any time loss from sport and only five per cent in an absence of more than 28 days.

Then again, having watched Latvian BMX rider Edžus Treimanis compete in his semi-final races at London with strips of plaster stuck to his face on either side of his nose following a horrible fall in the seeding runs, you do wonder what it would take to consign some of these athletes to the sidelines.

Edzus Treimanis injured at London 2012Latvian BMX rider Edžus Treimanis suffered a bad facial injury after this crash in the seeing rounds at London 2012 - but still carried on in the next round

The lowest injury rates experienced were in archery (1.6 per cent) and, more surprisingly, canoeing (2.7 per cent) and track cycling (three percent).

Comfortably the biggest risk for illness was beach volleyball - at nearly 19 per cent - 61 per cent of these cases were reported to be "respiratory infections".

Though such findings are undeniably fascinating, it is probably wise not to jump to too many conclusions.

Nonetheless, you do feel that one or two figures might give individual sports food for thought.

For example, "overuse" was said to be the mechanism for 73 per cent of all diving injuries - there were 11 of them.

In athletics, 60 per cent of all injuries were said to have been sustained during training.

Dayron Robles injured at London 2012Dayron Robles, Cuba's world record holder and Beijing 2008 Olympic champion in the 110 metres hurdle, was among the athletes whose London 2012 chances were ruined by injury

As you might expect, four in every five of the more severe injuries were sustained in competition.

Similar exercises were undertaken in Beijing in 2008, though for injuries only, and at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.

Injury incidences at London were said to be comparable to Beijing.

As the study points out, the Olympic Movement's medical code encourages all stakeholders to ensure that sport is practised without danger to the health of the athletes.

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