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Australia wins men's omnium and women's keirin

19 January 2013

CYCLING: Australia took out both medal events on Saturday at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF).

In an action-packed day at the Dunc Gray Velodrome, Australian juniors swept the men’s omnium and the women’s keirin.

Bradley Heffernan (Australia Green) was too good in the men’s omnium winning the final event to grab gold. Callum Scotson (Australia Gold) came second and Michael Rice (Australia Green) held out to win the Bronze over Chad Elliston (New Zealand).

Heffernan said going into the event he was aiming just to get a medal.

“I was hoping to get a medal but to win it is really good,” the 16-year-old said.

“I’ve had some good results over this season in the omnium and I was really hoping I would get a good result but to win it I’m really happy with.”

With one point separating second, third and fourth going into the sixth and final event, the 1km time trial, made for great entertainment.

Earlier in the omnium on Saturday, Sam Welsford (Australia Gold), who came second in the morning’s individual pursuit, attacked with 16 laps left in the 10km scratch race but the field clawed back the West Australian’s lengthy lead for a close finish.

Michael Rice (Australia Green) sprinted to win the men’s scratch race in 12 minutes 18.935 seconds which catapulted him to third place overall and pushing New Zealander Chad Elliston out of the top three.

In the first medal event of the day, yesterday’s women’s sprint medallists (Courtney Field, Tian Beckett and Tennille Falappi) went head to head again in the women’s keirin.

In a close race that had the crowd on the edge of their seats, Beckett led up until the last bend when Falappi came from behind to win. Field who won the sprint yesterday came second.

Malaysia’s Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan came third following in the footsteps of her male teammate Muhammad Firdaus Mohd Zonis who won bronze in the men’s keirin on Friday.

Falappi said her win on Saturday was “awesome” after missing out on the gold medal race the day before.

“I had a pretty dodgy day yesterday so it was really great to come back and get the gold on the keirin.”

“Keirin is one of my most difficult events, I find them extremely hard to position myself and ride in them so it was really awesome, a big confidence boost I guess for me to have a good crack at this one,” the Queenslander said.

In other events, West Australian Kelsey Robson lapped the main body of riders in the women’s omnium 10km points race to score 20 points and come first, followed by omnium leader Josie Talbot with 16 and Macey Stewart with 13.

The third event of the women’s omnium, the elimination race, saw Elissa Wundersitz (Australia Green) win in front of fellow countrymen Talbot and Stewart.

With three events to go Josie Talbot (Australia Gold) is sitting in first place in the women’s omnium with five points, followed with a three-way tie between Wundersitz, Robson and Stewart (all from Australia) each on 10 points.

In the men’s sprint, Patrick Constable (Australia Gold), Jai Angsuthasawit (Australia Gold), Alex Radzikiewicz (Australia Gold) and Jeremy Presbury (New Zealand) won their quarter-finals and will compete Sunday for the gold medal.

Also tomorrow at the Dunc Gary Velodrome, the final three events in the women’s omnium and women’s team sprint.

Laura Judd

Follow the AYOF on Twitter @AYOF2013 # AYOF2013 #RoadtoRio

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