The Australian Olympic team suffered a setback on Monday when the women's team pursuit squad of Melissa Hoskins, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure and Georgia Baker all crashed during training on the velodrome in Rio de Janeiro.
Only Annette Edmondson escaped the crash.
The five-rider team pursuit squad were doing a training effort on the velodrome, reaching speeds of 60km/h, when a touch of wheels caused the accident. Hoskins was taken off the track on a strecher for precautionary reasons before being taken to hospital via ambulance for scans which ruled out major injury and broken bones
"I remember the whole thing, I had nowhere to go, straight over the handle bars and landed heavy on my side, and uncomfortably," said Hoskins in a Cycling Australia release. "For those watching it would have been spectacular, we certainly weren't on a Sunday stroll, we were doing high speed race pace efforts now we are this close to competition. So when you crash at those speeds it is never nice especially when four come down, but I am counting us very lucky."
Ankudinoff, Baker and Cure are all being treated for track friction burns and bruises.
The ride was one of the final training sessions for the squad before the track competition gets underway on Thursday. Hosking, who missed the 2016 Worlds due to pneumonia, had a team-first ethos in her answer when asked of her chances of riding when the competition gets underway.
"For me, we will take it day by day, it will be a case of seeing how I go," Hoskins said. "Now, it is obviously quite painful, but you can only throw caution to the wind and hope luck is on my side.
"I am staying positive. After four years of hard work, you don't want to give up when you are this close. We will be OK, luckily we have four girls who are firing and who will fly the flag if I can't."
National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta added the team won't cry over split milk with its focus firmly on doing the best possible rides to challenge for the gold medal.
"These girls have worked hard to get to this point. As a team, they were on the best training form since they won the world title in 2015," said Tabotta. "But the minute you start thinking 'poor us what should we do next', is the moment you are beaten.
"Sure this has put a spanner in the works now, but they have had some great preparation and we are not looking backwards, we are only looking forwards."
The Australians are one of the top medal hopefuls for the Olympic Games gold medal in the team pursuit after coming fifth in the world championships earlier this year.
The crash comes just three days before the start of competition in track cycling. The women's team pursuit qualifying round is set for Thursday, with the finals on Saturday.
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