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Three medals decided at the track

18 January 2013

CYCLING: Australia’s female cyclists tore up the track on Friday, in an afternoon of extreme heat, sweeping both the 5km scratch race the 200m sprint.

New Zealand broke Australia’s winning streak to take gold and silver in the men’s keirin.

In the first medal event of the day, nine women including six Australians took to the Dunc Gray Velodrome track for the 5km scratch race.

Sixteen-year-old Josie Talbot won gold ahead of West Australian team pursuit teammate Kelsey Robson. 

Talbot said it was a relief to cross the line in first place.

“I’ve raced these girls before and they are a very strong group so to know that I could beat them gives me confidence for the rest of the racing,” the New South Welshman said.

Tasmania’s Macey Stewart won the bronze in one of her first competitive rides back since a 10-rider pile-up last July which rendered her unconscious for 10 minutes.

The 17-year-old said winning a medal was a real confidence booster.

“It feels great, against such hard competition with the Australian girls it’s an awesome achievement for me,” she said. “It’s what I’ve needed so hopefully I can keep it going for the rest of the omnium.”

In the women’s 200m sprint, Australia held the first four seeds with Western Australian Tian Beckett posting a time of 11.740 seconds in the time trials.

Despite Beckett qualifying fastest she lost the gold medal race 2-0 to fellow Australian Courtney Field.

Field was reduced to tears after winning her first major gold medal.

“I don’t know how to explain it” the Victorian said. “I wasn’t sure how to race because I’ve never raced in the U19 category before so I wasn’t really sure how it was going to play out and if their tactics and experience will out run me but you know I just gave it my all and just tried to use what I have to my advantage”.

Tennille Falappi (AUS) beat Kiara Dundas (AUS) for bronze.

New Zealand riders, Jeremy Presbury and Callum Saunders broke Australia’s dominance at the Velodrome coming first and second in the men’s keirin. 

Malaysia’s Muhammad Firdaus Mohd Zonis came third. Alex Radzikiewicz was the only Australian in the final and placed fifth.

First time AYOF gold medallist Presbury said it meant everything to win.

“We work so hard at getting stronger, getting faster you know all those, all the little things, we train our asses off and to get gold it just makes it all worth it,” the 17-year-old said. “Getting to hear the national anthem you know it’s pretty special.”

After day one of the omnium Bradley Heffernan of Australia Green is tied first on 10 points with New Zealand’s Chad Elliston. Michael Rice of Australia Green is in third place.

The first round, the flying lap, saw Australia Green rider Bradley Heffernan take out first place just edging out New Zealand’s Chad Elliston by 0.052 seconds. Japan’s Hiroki Moriguchi came third.

In close to 45-degree heat the men’s omnium took to the track for the 15 km points race.
Japan’s Hiroto Harai rode aggressively to take out round 2 scoring 13 points. Liam Aitcheson (NZL) kept close to the lead with nine points followed by Australia Gold rider Callum Scotson on seven.

The last round for day 1 of the omnium was the elimination race.

Michael Rice (AUS Green) came first with Japan’s Harai and New Zealand’s Elliston hot on his heels.

The men’s omnium will be raced over two days and will resume Saturday morning.

Also tomorrow, the first rounds of the women’s omnium, women’s keirin and men’s sprint.
Laura Judd

Follow the AYOF on Twitter @AYOF2013 #AYOF2013 #RoadtoRio 

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