CYCLIST Kaarle McCulloch credits sports physiotherapist Cameron Elliott, who correctly diagnosed a career-threatening injury that she has overcome to get back on track.
Elliott is the NSW Institute of Sport physiotherapist McCulloch sought treatment from.
He discovered what many doctors had missed, treating her for a chronic left knee injury.
"The problem was with my back but it was causing pain in my left knee," McCulloch said.
"Cameron diagnosed the problem and I spent six months from January to July this year in rehabilitation."
McCulloch said the pain throbbed in her left knee and restricted her training and her best in races.
The St George club rider won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics with Anna Meares in the women's team sprint.
"For four years from 2010 until this year I didn't really improve to the level I wanted too," McCulloch said.
McCulloch has just returned from one of the World Cup series rounds in Mexico, where she partnered Stephanie Morton to victory in the team sprint.
The pair won the gold medal but didn't race off in the final with their scheduled opponents withdrawing through illness.
"The World Cup series and next year's World Championships in Paris are part of the qualification process for the 2016 Rio Olympics," she said.
McCulloch, 26, of Gymea, said she can't thank Elliott enough for his skills and devising her recovery program.
"I owe a lot to Cameron Elliott," she said.
McCulloch said riding in the world series in Mexico has restored confidence and she is relieved she is fit and healthy again.
"To not have any improvement in performance across the board for four years and then come out in my first race of this season and do a [personal best] in the team sprint, means I'm pretty confident that things are just going to keep getting better," McCulloch said.
McCulloch didn't start riding until she was 17. She grew up with the ambition to be a top runner and was a member with Sutherland District Athletic Club.
"I won national middle distance championships at 14, 15 and 16, in the 400 metres and 800 metres events," she said.
McCulloch went to Endeavour Sports High School; her brother Jack, 20, rides for the St George club. "Jack is a very good rider," she said.
Her sister Abby McCulloch, 24, a Sutherland Shire Netball Association junior, plays with the NSW Swifts.
Can cyclist Kaarle McCulloch get back on track in time for next year's World Championships in Paris?
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