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Australian cyclist Alex Porter has suffered a devastating mishap in the men's team pursuit, crashing after his handlebars snapped off mid-race.
Porter was thankfully unhurt after he was sent clattering into the velodrome floor when his handlebars inexplicably separated from the rest of his bike.
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Thankfully, the incident occurred during the qualifying round for the team pursuit event, enabling them to call for a restart after Porter thankfully fell from the rear of the team.
Incredibly, Porter was able to get up and have another crack at qualifying despite hitting the velodrome at more than 60 kilometres per hour.
Since the crash happened just after the one kilometre mark of the four kilometre race, the Australian team was put at a major disadvantage on their second go around.
Commentators pointed out how much energy goes into getting the team up to speed on the opening lap, with the Australian team having to complete the arduous task - with Porter looking slightly worse for wear to boot.
"I've never seen that before."
Alex Porter has a nasty fall after his handlebars detach in the middle of the men's team pursuit. Thankfully he was able to walk away from the accident 🙏🇦🇺#Tokyo2020 | #7Olympics pic.twitter.com/1iqGXcpiax
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 2, 2021
Porter suffered a torn skinsuit and was furious as he walked back to the Australian team pits at Izu Velodrome.
Nevertheless, he was widely praised for his courage to get back on the bike and have another go so soon after the scary fall.
— Jonathon Lance (@jonno_lance) August 2, 2021
Crazy scenes when handlebars snapped clean off a bike! Alex Porter was lucky not to be more seriously injured. Sounds like they’re going to get another go at it after women’s rounds https://t.co/XLtnxur5fp
— Jacqui Street (@Jacstreet) August 2, 2021
Take your hat off to Alex Porter, how he is able to get back on the bike after his accident is unreal 👏#OlympicGames
— Basil Zoccali (@BasilZoccali) August 2, 2021
Alex Porter, member of the Australian pursuit team, one of the gutsiest performances I have ever seen. Face planted at 65kph after his handle bars snapped - back on the bike with skin burns everywhere to finish the job. #OlympicGames
— Darren Arthur (@DArthur_ESPN) August 2, 2021
— Ian Parker (@iparkysport) August 2, 2021
Australia eventually qualified in fifth place, in a time of 3:48.448 - narrowly missing a chance to earn a medal for their efforts.
Denmark and Italy both set new Olympic records as they qualified first and second respectively, with New Zealand and Great Britain also ahead of the Aussie team.
Australian team struggles in track cycling opener
Porter's woes continued a tough start on Monday to the track cycling program for Australia, who were second-last in the women's team pursuit qualifying as Germany made a stunning statement.
The Germans broke the world record in team pursuit qualifying and also qualified fastest in the women's team sprint.
Germany clocked four minutes 7.307 seconds in the team pursuit to beat the 4:10.236 that Great Britain clocked to win the gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
The British were on track to better the Germans' mark at 3000m, but faded to finish second-fastest in 4:09.022.
The Australian combination of Georgia Baker, Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Alexandra Manly rode 4:13:571 and are out of contention for the gold and silver medals.
They will face sixth-fastest team New Zealand in the first round and could progress to the bronze medal ride-off on Tuesday, but the Australians will need a big lift in performance.
Australia has never won an Olympic medal in the women's team pursuit.
Stephanie Morton's retirement means Australia did not enter the women's team sprint, which will be the only event to be decided on Monday.
Germany will meet China in the women's team sprint gold medal ride-off.
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