A Gladiators actress has described a frightening injury she sustained while filming when her hamstring went ‘pop’.
Sabre, actual name Sheli McCoy, joins Comet and Legend as part of a new generation of superhumans competing against daring opponents.
The BBC has reintroduced the classic show with father-son team Barney and Bradley Walsh at the helm, after a two-decade hiatus.
And, while certain things may have changed for the new season, the injuries sound just as severe.
Sabre was one of two Gladiators sent to the hospital while filming, and she was left on crutches with her leg bandaged.
She’s now revealed what went down, saying: ‘My hamstring went pop.’
The terrifying incident occurred during one of the games, where Sabre assured she ‘gave it everything I had, so did the contender’.
She went on: ‘It happens, we put ourselves in these combat situations and we’ve worked really hard over a long period of time, and I feel like it was just the position I was in, the power I was putting into my leg.
‘As an athlete, I’m no stranger to injury, it’s because we’re pushing our limits to get to that next level, that doesn’t come without risk.’
She continued: ‘And rehab went really well, I’ve had so much support from the physio in Gladiators, and a lot of people up here, professionals, have helped me, physios and chiropractors.’
After the injury, Sabre’s goal was ‘to be back on [her] own two feet at a really high intensity functional capacity of training’, and after five months, she’s reached it.
‘I haven’t ventured into long distance running, I’m not quite there yet, but I’m doing shorter distances, taking plenty of time and listening to my body, and giving myself enough time, there’s no rush,’ she said.
Sabre, with her ‘competitive attitude’, returned to training immediately after filming and has subsequently beaten three Scottish records after training at least 16 hours each week over six days.
However, in addition to working and shooting and meeting her goals of eight hours of sleep, three litres of water, and 2,700 calories a day, including 145 grammes of protein, Sabre had to learn to be ‘an entertainer’.
‘It’s quite difficult to learn that as a new skill – I’m not an actress,’ she told us, saying she had to ‘adapt’ to on screen life.
While Sabre and Comet, actual name Ella-Mae Rayner, were hospitalised due to injuries, with the latter fracturing her ankle and foot in many places and dislocating a bone, other Gladiators suffered ‘niggles’.
Fury, real name Jodie Ounsley, said: ‘Gladiators is, when I say it’s physically demanding, it’s savage.
‘There’s so much contact and you’ve got to go through multiple games and different strengths and you put your body through so much that you probably don’t even realise
‘I’m lucky because I play rugby so I was just throwing my body into people and tackling people, so you pick up niggles and little mini injuries and stuff like that, so you get some tape on and crack on really.’
Gladiators have a history of injuries, including a previous American cast member who had a concussion on his first day and had his skull split open.
Meanwhile, star of the original UK version, Jet, recalled when her spine ‘cracked’, previously saying: ‘My accident was on Pyramid, and I remember I had a contender – who I have met since then – who was a bit bigger, stronger and faster than me.
‘And I pushed off the pyramid with her, they like these aerial tackles because it’s good car crash TV, and I just remember landing here and my bottom was there and she was almost on top of me.
‘The impact of that hyperextension of the spine and her, and then I quickly flipped because I heard a crack.
‘And I’ve heard that crack before when I’ve done ligaments in, and thankfully it wasn’t the bone, it was just compression.’
Gladiators returns to the BBC and iPlayer on Saturday, January 13, at 5.50pm.