Kai Sakakibara has been placed into a medically induced coma following his crash at the UCI Supercross World Cup in Bathurst ©BMX Australia

Australian BMX rider Kai Sakakibara has been placed in a medically induced coma following his crash at the International Cycling Union Supercross World Cup in Bathurst.

Sakakibara was airlifted to hospital on Saturday (February 8), after suffering a head injury in the crash at the Bathurst BMX Club in New South Wales.

He was transferred to the Canberra Hospital, where he underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

Sakakibara is expected to remain in a medically induced coma for at least the next two weeks, according to a statement from his family.

The 23-year-old is in a critical but stable condition.

"Kai has suffered a severe head injury which will need time to settle before we have a more accurate understanding of his prognosis," a family statement read.

"An operation on Sunday morning relieved some pressure on his brain and he has been placed in a medically induced coma to help his body relax.

"Kai’s condition is described as critical but stable, he is in good hands and under 24-hour monitoring.

"We are expecting he will remain in a medical coma for the next two weeks or so.

"We are in Canberra with Kai right now and the best thing for us is to keep busy and continue doing everyday things so please feel free to contact us as you normally would."

"We understand the road ahead will be a long and difficult one, we are staying positive and taking things day by day," the statement continued.

"There isn’t much we can do at this point but Kai needs your support and your positive energy sent his way.

"Please keep thinking of Kai #KaiFight77 and stay with us on his journey for the months ahead.

"For now, we are waiting to see how things progress and our focus is on his long-term rehabilitation. 

"Kai’s BMX career will be put on hold for now."

Sakakibara is a multiple Oceania BMX Championships gold medallist and is currently ranked 10th in the world.

He had been eyeing a debut Olympic Games appearance at Tokyo 2020.

Sakakibara’s younger sister Saya is also an elite BMX rider, with the pair both crowned Oceania champions last year.