Aussie gold rush on final night of Oceania Champs
22 November 2013
CYCLING - TRACK: Australian cyclists could be facing excess baggage charges on their return flight from New Zealand following a flurry of medals, including seven gold, on the final night of the UCI Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill.
Australia’s Queen of the Track Anna Meares won the women’s sprint title to claim her third gold medal of the Championships, however fellow South Australian Annette Edmondson has challenged Meares for the regal title following scintillating victories in both the omnium and points events.
The victories didn’t stop there for the South Australians, with Matthew Glaetzer adding to his keirin title with victory in the men’s sprint event, Luke Davison defended his men’s omnium crown, while Miles Scotson and Joshua Harrison took out the Madison.
South Australia’s Anna Meares, the ten-time world champion and reigning Olympic sprint gold medallist, continued her stunning form to win all rounds of the women’s sprint without a blemish.
Meares got off to a great start during the morning qualifying session, with her time of 11.011 the fastest ever women’s flying 200m recorded on New Zealand soil. Progressing through to the final with ease, the 2011 sprint world champion then accounted for fellow South Australian Stephanie Morton in the final.
“Really, I couldn’t have gotten a better result here,” said Meares after claiming her third gold medal in as many events at the Championships, adding to her 500m time trial and keirin wins. “To come away with three wins and three automatic starts in those events for worlds is really, really pleasing.
“Ideally I wanted wins to give me a little bit of breathing space in preparation ahead of the worlds. I thought I would really have a good shot at two, and be in a good position for three, but I tried not to focus on the outcome, but to get it right in between because its be so long since I have raced.
“Yes, there’s a tick after this Championship, it’s not a cross, or a comma, nor a dash, it’s a tick.”
Meares, along with the rest of the team, will turn her attention to the second UCI Track World Cup event in Mexico to be held from December 6-8, before Australia’s summer of track cycling action.
“We have six days at home before we fly to Mexico for the second World Cup, so it is going to be a battle with the flying and fatigue. But the racing is the fun part of it, I am really looking forward to it.”
New South Wales’ Kaarle McCulloch secured the clean sweep for Australia by wining the bronze medal over Stephanie McKenzie (NZL) in straight heats.
Following their controversial battle in Thursday’s keirin final, New Zealand’s Eddie Dawkins and Matthew Glaetzer continued where they left off with another nail-biting display of track sprinting.
In the morning flying 200m qualifying session, Dawkins set the tone early by breaking his own national record with a scorching time of 9.907secs. However Glaetzer went even faster, timed at a stunning 9.828s to set the fastest sea level time ever recorded by an Australian.
And in a perfectly scripted ending to the Championships, the pair progressed to the final battle. In the third and deciding heat, Glaetzer held off a late surge from Dawkins at the line to win in a photo finish by just three one-thousandths of a second.
In the bronze medal final, home-town hero Shane Archibald took the bronze over Mitchell Bullen who was relegated in the decider for not holding his line in the final sprint.
Women’s Omnium / Points Race
Olympic bronze medallist Annette Edmondson was simply perfect as she took out all six disciplines to record a resounding victory in the women’s omnium.
After a perfect beginning to the competition on Thursday with victories in the flying lap, elimination and points races, the perfection continued for Edmondson on Friday. She won the 3000m individual pursuit in 3:40.220, dominated the women’s scratch race and 500m time trial.
Shortly after her omnium win, Edmondson returned to the track to dominate the women’s points race, taking the win on 25 points ahead of Sophie Williamson (NZL – 21pts) and Lauren Ellis (NZL – 16pts).
Reigning Oceania champion Luke Davison proved his world-class abilities taking the omnium title over New Zealand’s reigning world champion Aaron Gate
Davison won the scratch and elimination races, finished second to Gate in the individual pursuit, and was second fastest behind an impressive Dylan Kennett in the 1000m time trial to secure overall honours.
“It feels great. I’ve put a lot of hard work into this week and there’s been a lot of expectation and a lot of pressure,” said Davison, the 2008 omnium junior world champion. “Things are heading in the right direction.”
In other results, reigning national Madison champion Miles Scotson teamed with Joshua Harrison to win the men’s 40km Madison and Max Housden claimed the under 19 men’s keirin title.