Rio 2016 Olympics: Hip injury forces Australian cyclist Melissa Hoskins into retiring from sport

By @vitthernandez on
Australia Cycling Team
2016 Rio Olympics - Cycling Track - Final - Women's Team Pursuit Final 5th-6th Race - Rio Olympic Velodrome - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 13/08/2016. Australia's (AUS) team competes. Reuters/Matthew Childs

The training accident on Aug 9 that injured 25-year-old Australian cyclist Melissa Hoskins has forced her into retiring from the sport. Although she managed to compete on Thursday, Aug 11, Hoskins says she has reached the threshold of pain that she has no choice except to retire.

Sharing that she is going through “a fair amount of pain,” Hoskins had a grand retirement plan to leave the sport with a gold. However, with her injury, the team finished fifth, while in London they were fourth and got the gold world title as well as established a world record in the 4,000-metre event in 2015.

“I want to finish on my own terms before I start to hate the sports so I’m stepping away completely,” Reuters quotes the cyclist who started her cycling career in 2006. Hoskins muses that sometimes she just wakes up and wishes rather that practice for four hours riding, she could spend the day taking a stroll around the river.

The team was initially considering replacing Hoskins with Ashlee Ankudinoff, a reserve for the qualifying on Thursday, but apparently, Ankudinoff was in a worse physical situation than her. On Wednesday night, the team announced the inclusion of Hoskins in the Thursday event.

The basis of the team in selecting between her and Ankudinoff was who was the least injured. “I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Yesterday I did a 30-lap potter around the track, but Ash didn’t pull up too well. I know how hard it is for her, she is an absolute trouper. Full credit to the four girls, I have never been so proud to ride with such mentally tough women,” The Australian quotes Hoskins.

Despite Hoskins still in pain and recovering from the injury, the team qualified as third fastest in the competition. However, the top spot was captured by Great Britain which set a world record of 4 minutes, 13.26 seconds.

Australia logged 4 minutes, 19.059 seconds. Kevin Tarbotta, head coach of the team, said they adjusted medal expectations after the accident on Tuesday.