By Mike Rowbottom

Steph_Twell_winning_cross_country_raceFebruary 14 - Messages of support for Steph Twell, who broke her ankle while running at the Lotto CrossCup in Belgium yesterday, have flooded in from fellow athletes.

Paula Radcliffe, Mo Farah, Dai Greene, Greg Rutherford, Andy Turner, Nathan Douglas and Jeanette Kwayke are among those who have tweeted to express their shock and dismay at the injury which befell Britain's Commonwealth Games 1500 metres bronze medallist as she slipped while easing to victory at over the cross-country course in Hannut.

The 21-year-old Scot, who had high hopes for next year's London Olympics, was taken to hospital and her injury put in plaster, and will have an MRI scan today.

But her coach, Mick Woods, warned that there was "no timeframe for recovery," adding: "I can't imagine it will heal quickly.

"We don't know if there any complications.

"It will need serious investigation.

"She's very down and very depressed."

The irony for Twell was that she made her first international impact over cross country when she won the European junior title in Italy in 2006, retaining it in the next two years.

Twell had been using the race, which measured at just over 6km, as preparation for the World Cross Country Championships, beginning on March 20 in Punta Umbria, Spain.

"She knew the course was difficult," admitted Woods.

""She was miles ahead of the other runners and had only 600m to go.

"She heard the ankle break and got up to try and run but went straight to ground.

"It's so unfortunate.

"She has just returned from a three-and-a-half week altitude training camp in Kenya and won a race last weekend in Spain.

"No bone was exposed, contrary to reports.

"There are no issues with the fibula, but there is some issue with the ankle bone.

"Steph Twell badly injured but hopefully not as bad as first thought.

"Thoughts to her x," tweeted Radcliffe, the world marathon record holder.

"Really sorry to hear about Steph Twell.... All my support to her.. I hope is not too serious" was double European champion Farah's message, while Dai Greene, European 400m hurdles champion, commented "Just heard the horrible news about Steph Twell. Thoughts go out to her, wishing her a speedy recovery. One of the nicest people in athletics."

UKA Athletics confirmed in a statement today that there had been "no open fracture, adding: "The injury was re-set at hospital and Twell is now in plaster.

"She is currently travelling back from Belgium and will see UKA medics for further scans to confirm the extent of the injury on arrival back in the UK later today."

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