Sally Pearson has spoken of her heartbreak at being denied the chance to defend her 100 metre hurdles gold at the Rio Olympic Games in August following a hamstring injury.
The 29-year-old Australian athletics champion was ruled out of the Brazilian showpiece event on Wednesday after a training mishap caused the injury, leaving her frustrated with the timing of the injury.
"Why couldn't it have happened after the Olympics? I only needed seven weeks and three days or whatever to finish my races at the Olympics," Pearson told a media gathering on Thursday.
"But this is a thing that no-one can control. No matter who you are, you can't control what your body wants to do and unfortunately it just gave in.
"There was no awareness, no signs that this was going to happen. So that's probably the most frustrating thing."
The hamstring issue is the latest in an injury-hit year.
Pearson had only just returned to competition this month after a year on the sideline due to a broken and dislocated wrist suffered in a fall during a Diamond League race, all in addition to the calf and Achilles tendon injuries that have also hampered her.
The training mishap came as Pearson returned to training on the Gold Coast, just seven weeks out from the Olympics.
"It was just like a grab, two grabs in my hamstring that I felt [at the time] were very, very minor," she said.
"I've done my hamstring quite a few times before and I knew what it was at the time. But then that night I had scans on it and it showed it was actually a lot worse than what I originally thought it was going to be, only because of the area that it's in.
"It's in the tendon and tendons in any part of the body are hard to get back from and they do require a lot of patience and time and care if I'm going to get back to training and be fit and healthy."
Pearson could yet be called on by the Australian Olympic Commission to travel to Rio as a mentor to Australian athletes, though she admitted she is yet to have that conversation.