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Gladiators contestant forced to pull out competition ahead of final after tackle goes wrong

Gladiators was forced to halt the competition during its most recent semi-final episode as a contestant suffered an injury that forced him to pull out of the show.

Saturday’s edition (23 March) of the rebooted obstacle course challenge saw contender and software engineer Chung Leung limping away from the arena stage after being tackled in the game “Powerball”, in which the Gladiators attempt to stop their opponents from placing a ball into a goal.

The game was called to an abrupt end as Leung’s injury became apparent, and he was attended to by medical staff before he was helped to the background for further attention.

Presenters Bradley and Barney Walsh continued to host the rest of the episode’s events, which included the women’s Powerball round.

However, the father-son duo soon returned to deliver news of Leung’s condition.

“After consultations with the medical team, the decision has been made that he can no longer compete in the competition,” Bradley announced.

As the studio audience reacted with audible disappointment, the Chase presenter continued: “He is doing OK and is receiving the best medical care.”

Chung Leung competes in Gladiators heats (BBC / James Stack / © Hungry Bear Media Ltd)
Chung Leung competes in Gladiators heats (BBC / James Stack / © Hungry Bear Media Ltd)

Leung shared his upset about his time in the competition coming to an end in this way, but expressed his appreciation for the audience of Sheffield’s Utilita Arena for making him feel supported.

“I’m disappointed to not be able to finish this race, but the support I’ve had from the crowd has been incredible and it’s really helping,” he said.

In Leung’s place, previous competitor Matt Jones returned to the competition and faced off against fellow contender Wesley Male in the episode’s final event, the Eliminator.

Male eventually completed the final challenge, which ends with a thrilling run up a slanted travelator before swinging through a paper gate, in the shortest time, securing him a place in the grand final.

Chung Leung, a contender on Gladiators (BBC / James Stack / © Hungry Bear Media Ltd)
Chung Leung, a contender on Gladiators (BBC / James Stack / © Hungry Bear Media Ltd)

Viewers had to wait an extra week for this edition of the classic competition show, as it was originally set to air on Saturday 16 March.

However, the episode was pulled from the BBC One schedule to make room for the FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City and Newcastle United.

The reboot of the classic 1990s show has seen huge success with its return, with an average of 6m viewers tuning in for the launch episode, and a total of 8.7m watching it in the first seven days since its release.

Gladiators will conclude with the grand final on Saturday 30 March at 5.50pm on BBC One.