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Australian women's team pursuit squad back on track after training accident

The Australian women's team pursuit squad is aiming for gold medal success in Rio

The Australian women's team pursuit squad is aiming for gold medal success in Rio

Two-days after a spectacular high speed crash on Rio's Olympic Velodrome, Melissa Hoskins and her Australian team pursuit teammates are up for the challenge of bringing home the gold medal. The 24-year-old taken to hospital as a precautionary measure following Tuesday's crash but returned to training despite a bruised hip that required she used a crutch while walking and is ready for Thursday's qualifying session.

"They are five outstanding athletes, yes we are one down now, but we are down, but we are not out," said women's track endurance coach Gary Sutton. "When Mel returned to the Village, she was in great spirits, to be honest with you, I think it is what picked the team up.

"They are rock solid and I have said that from day one. To see what they have done this morning is incredible turn around. You could see that they have bandages all over them, they have showed a lot of character."

Hoskins was part of the squad which won the team pursuit event at the 2015 Worlds having won silver in 2014 and bronze in 2013. Pneumonia knocked her put of the 2016 Worlds with Sutton believing she would be right for the Olympic Games and despite the accident, he is still backing her in to play her role.

"I believe that Mel will be ready at some stage, whether it's for the first round or second round, but we'll wait and see," he added.

Hoskins' partner, fifth place finisher in the men's time time trial Rohan Dennis, added that it's not in her character to let the accident get the better of her and expects to see her in the four-rider event at some point.

"She wants to fight, Thursday is their qualifying maybe tomorrow might be a little bit too early but two days to the final and they've got four (other) girls to motivate and be strong and put them in that perfect position so they get that semi-final," Dennis said. "Look she wants to be there as much as anyone and wants to fight for it."

Amy Cure was one of the other fallers in the crash and was bandaged up as a result. Despite the accident, 23-year-old Cure was also bullish of Australia's medal chances.

"We have been our best when we have been knocked down before, so I think that proves that things are not over yet," said Cure. "Yesterday we had the crash, but today is a new day. Yes, we all have a few bruises, but mentally we are stronger than we ever have been before.

"We have a medal to win and we are going to give it all. We are going to come out fighting. We know we have a job to do and it is far from over yet."

The women's team pursuit gets underway with qualifying on Thursday, followed by the second round on Friday, with the medals to be decided on Saturday.

"We are going to take one day at a time, the most important thing is to try to get five of them healthy, whether it is tomorrow or the next day," added Sutton. "Right at this moment, it is day to day for Mel. But I believe that she will be ready at some stage, whether it be the first round or the second round we will just wait and see."

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