AUSTRALIA’S women’s team pursuit squad has courageously returned to the velodrome in Rio for training less than 24 hours after their horror crash.
Image: File Photo
All bar Melissa Hoskins who was nursing a bruised hip in the athletes’ village were back on the track where they did a 4km effort and said they were banged up but as mentally strong as ever just two days before competition.
Ashlee Ankudinoff and Amy Cure had bandages on their knees and elbows while Annette Edmondson — who avoided the crash — and Georgia Baker appeared unscathed.
Their coach Gary Sutton said Hoskins was in good spirits and he believes she will be ready to ride either qualifying on Thursday or the finals on Saturday.
Sutton admitted he feared the worst when he saw his riders go down which could have ended their Olympic campaign before it even began.
“Yesterday when I looked up I thought they were all gone, at 60km/h, pretty horrific sort of crash,” Sutton said.
“But when Mel returned to the village she was in really good spirits and to be honest I think that’s what picked the team up.
“They’re rock solid, to see what they did this morning is an incredible turnaround, I know they’ve got bandages all over them but they’ve shown a lot of character.
“They did one 4km effort and they got through okay … what you’ve seen is an incredible turnaround because yesterday they were all over the place.
“At the moment we’re a lot better today than we were yesterday.”
Image: File Photo
Cure said there was a steely resolve about the team. “Today is a new day, we’ve still got a medal to win and we’re going to give it our all and we come out fighting,” she said.
“We’ve all got a few bruises and things but mentally we’re stronger than we ever have been before, we know we’ve got a job to do and it’s far from over yet.
“Mel is good, she’s resting and should be fine, time will tell and we’ll take it day by day.”
Australia must name its team for qualifying the day before racing starts but can make late changes up to an hour before competition.