Georgia Baker and her Australian Team Pursuit teammates Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure and Melissa Hoskins have finished in fifth place at the 2016 Rio Olympics, beating Italy by seven seconds in a time of 4:21.232.
After a heavy crash in training almost derailed the team’s Olympic campaign, the squad put in a herculean effort to qualify third fastest on Thursday to set up a showdown with 2015 World Champions Team USA for a spot in the gold medal final.
Australia went hard from the gun, opening up a lead of two-tenths of a second after two laps, but the injuries sustained before the competition began to take their toll on the team, and they were overpowered by the Americans who set a world record time of 4:12.282.
Olympic debutant and High5 Dream Team rider Georgia Baker was proud of the grit and determination showed by the Australian squad.
“It was our main goal to come here to the Olympic Games to win gold and we’ve had some really unfortunate events that happened in the last week but I think we should all be really proud.
“It just goes to show how tough me and my teammates are. Just to ride, I think it goes to show how strong we are.
“The Olympics are amazing. It really keeps me hungry for more. I’m really motivated for the next four years and Commonwealth Games as well,” she said.
“It wasn’t the campaign we were after obviously.
“We’ve all got bumps and bruises from head to toe under this tight skin suit.
“I didn’t come off as bad as some of the girls.
“When something like this happens and it’s not what you want you can take it two ways.
“You can look at the negative and let your head drop down or we can use it as motivation and hope in the next four years to do something special, something we’ve been training for over these last two years to really prove that we have what it takes to win that Olympic gold and I think that’s what all of us will do.
“It’s pretty hard to not get emotional because for me after dad passed away the Olympics was the thing that kept me going. I had that goal to strive for and I know that he would be so proud for me to even make the Olympics” said Baker