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Green and Gold dominate the track

17 January 2013

CYCLING: Australia ruled the first day of the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) competition at the Dunc Gray Velodrome on Thursday.

In an afternoon of false starts, Australia took home three gold medals, two silvers, one bronze and an AYOF record.

New Zealand’s men’s sprint team broke the AYOF record set by Australia in 2009, only for the Australian Gold team (Jai Angsuthasawit, Patrick Constable and Alexander Radzikiewicz) to break it again minutes later, setting a new record time of 46.607 seconds.

Australia Gold lived up to its name, narrowly beating New Zealand for the gold medal with a time of 46.624 seconds. Australia Green took bronze over Malaysia.

After two false starts the Combined Oceania team was disqualified from the competition leaving the Malaysian team to advance onto the finals with a faster time than Japan.

In the women’s 3000m team pursuit Australian flagbearer Kelsey Robson and teammates Lauren Perry and Josie Talbot (AUS Gold) qualified fastest to the finals beating the Australia Green team with a time of 3 minutes 30.356 seconds.

In the finals, Australia Gold won, nearly lapping the Australia Green team, with a time of 3m 28.768s. Malaysia won bronze.

Robson said she was unfazed by the short turn around between heats and finals.

“[You] don’t stress about it,” she said.

“Just get on the rollers, try and loosen your legs up as much as you can, just focus on recovery and what you have to do”.

In the men’s 4000m team pursuit, Australia Gold qualified fastest with a time of 4 minutes 17.395 seconds. Australia Green came second edging out Japan by 0.229 of a second.

In the finals, Australia Green burst out of the gate leading the Australia Gold team by half a second in the first two laps. Before the Australia Gold team of Joshua Harrison, Mathew Ross, Callum Scotson and Sam Welsford came back to win gold in a time of 4 minutes 14.084 seconds.

Despite the slow start the winners said they weren’t worried and stuck to their plan.

“I could see the other riders just across the track and knowing that we still had three kilometres to go that it kind of turned out that we might catch them at some point,” Harrison said.

Japan beat Malaysia for bronze after the Malaysian team crashed in the back straight during the final kilometre of the race.

Day two of the AYOF cycling track program starts at 1pm Friday 18 January at the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Bankstown.

Laura Judd

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