Cycling: Australian Hoskins taken to hospital after crash

Reuters , Tuesday 9 Aug 2016

Melissa Hoskins
Melissa Hoskins, left, of the Australian women's track cycling team, reacts after crashing during a training session inside the Rio Olympic Velodrome during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP)

Australian track cyclist Melissa Hoskins said she hopes to compete in the women's team pursuit after escaping serious injury following a high speed crash in training at the Olympic velodrome on Monday.

Hoskins, who was riding at speeds of around 60 km per hour with team mates Ashlee Ankudinoff, Georgia Baker, Amy Cure and Annette Edmondson, had to be taken off the track on a stretcher after four of the five hit the boards.

A team statement said Hoskins, part of the pursuit team that holds the world record, had been taken to hospital where scans showed she had not broken any bones.

"I remember the whole thing, I had nowhere to go, straight over the handle bars and landed heavy on my side, and uncomfortably," Hoskins said as she left the hospital to return to the athletes village.

"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 competition."

Edmondson was the only rider to avoid crashing while Ankudinoff, Baker and Cure walked off the track and were being treated for track friction burns and bruises.

Whether or not Hoskins recovers in time for the start of the team pursuit event on Thursday is doubtful.

Should she be ruled out it would a big disappointment as the team struggled without her at the world championships in March when she was suffering with pneumonia.

"For me, we will take it day by day, it will be a case of seeing how I go," she 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."

The team pursuit begins on Thursday, with team official Kevin Tabotta bullish about Australia's chances.

"This team is a bunch of fighters, the staff are a bunch of fighters, as soon as that crash happened, they were already thinking what we need to do next," he said. 

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