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  1. ITV Report

The science of Olympic fitness and a race against time

Seb Prieto is in a place no athlete wants to be.

The 23-year-old star of the handball team has a groin injury and is now in a race against time to be fit for the Olympics.

23-year-old Seb Prieto in a race against time Credit: ITV News

Thankfully Team GB is taking no chances.

Its intensive rehabilitation unit at Bisham Abbey is dedicated to returning athletes to fitness using the latest sport science techniques.

Facilities include a force platform, a high-tech measuring instrument that tracks ground forces generated by the body to see how an injury is healing.

A flume pool, similar to a water-treadmill, keeps athletes fit if they can't train on the ground Credit: ITV News

There's also a new treatment called occlusion therapy. A system where blood flow is deliberately cut off from the injured part of the body, to trick the body into repairing the injury.

The treatment is focused and intensive. Only three athletes are seen at a time, and the one-on-one care last more than 30-hours a week.

Athletes are running out of time before the 2012 Games begin Credit: ITV News

Ask any Olympic athlete what they fear most in the run up to the games, they will all say how they want to avoid injury. So close to the Games, that fear is more acute than ever.

In the next three months the intensive rehabilitation unit will become a place where broken olympic dreams could be mended with the help of sport science.

ITV News reporter Rags Martel went to Bisham Abbey to see science and sport in action.