American BMX rider Brooke Crain flew from her bike and slammed into the track face-first after a dramatic wipe-out on the 440m outdoor course at the London Olympic Games.
The 19-year-old was nearing the end of the course this morning and looked set to post one of the fastest qualifying times when disaster struck on a series of gravel hills.
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She mistimed one of the dips, jammed her front wheel into the next hill and went flying over the handlebars, crashing heavily to the ground.
She appeared to be in shock as volunteers ran to check on her but she was eventually able to get up and slowly ride across the finish line.
Crain, who was called into the race as a late substitute after teammate Arielle Martin was hospitalised after a crash, was reportedly not badly injured in the fall.
"I got the wind knocked out of me and a bit of a bruised thigh, but I'm feeling fine," she was quoted by the NY Daily News.
Crain did not gain a qualifying time, but she will compete in Friday's semi-finals.
Aussie rider Caroline Buchanan qualified fastest in the women's competition, but the strong Australian team had a mixed start.
Buchanan's compatriot Lauren Reynolds was ninth and British star Shanaze Reade qualified fifth.
Dutch rider Raymon van der Biezen was the only rider in the men's field to go under 38 seconds for their 450m time trial.
Reigning world champion Sam Willoughby was the top Australian in sixth.
Khalen Young was 17th and Brian Kirkham qualified 22nd.
All three Australian men are through to their Thursday quarter-finals, with the men's and women's medals to be decided on Friday.