Two gold and a silver for Aussies at Hong Kong World Cup
18 January 2016
TRACK CYCLING: Australia's cyclists claimed two gold and a silver at the season-ending 2015/16 UCI Track World Cup event in Hong Kong at the weekend.
Rising star Patrick Constable (SA) broke through for the biggest win of his senior career with gold in the sprint, while Rio 2016 Olympic Games hopeful Stephanie Morton (SA) took silver in the keirin.
A youthful team pursuit quartet of Sam Welsford (WA), Alex Porter (SA), Miles Scotson (SA) and Rohan Wight (SA) claimed gold, posting an a time of 3 minutes 57.461 seconds. The win secured the overall victory for Australia in the team pursuit for the World Cup Series following two gold and one silver.
Former junior team sprint world champion Patrick Constable claimed gold in dominant fashion for his biggest ever win in the senior ranks beating an Olympic Champion in the process.
"It's huge, I'm stoked I could get the job done and end up on the top step," said Constable after his breakthrough win.
"I've just focused on stepping up again this year, 12 months is a long time in sprinting, but I'm happy with where I'm heading," added Constable on his progression since his World Cup debut in Cali in January 2015.
Constable flew around the track in 10.100secs for the 12th fastest qualifying time, with Peter Lewis in 15th marginally slower in 10.133secs.
"With everyone qualifying close the times were irrelevant, coach Nick Flyger and I knew it was going to be about who could execute in the rounds."
In the 1/16 finals Constable was too quick for Azizulhasni Awang (YSD Track Team) before starting his incredible run through the rounds. Next he edged fastest qualifier Damian Zielinski (Poland) to move through to the quarterfinals.
After losing the opening race against Nikita Shurshin (Russia) an undeterred Constable fought back to take the next two races setting up a semifinal with Olympic Champion Jason Kenny (Great Britain).
In the opening race Constable lead from the front and was able to hold off Kenny as he went one up. Not wanting to make the same mistake in the second Kenny was on the front in race two but was unable to hold off Constable's speed and take it to a decider.
As the bell sounded in the ride off for gold Constable went over the top immediately creating a gap on Chao Xu (China) as he powered to inch closer to gold.
In race two it was again Constable on the front in the final lap and despite a brave effort by Xu to come around Constable had enough speed to charge to the line and claim gold.
In his three World Cups Constable has never been far from the top of the results sheet. Finishing fifth in Cali last January and then seventh in Cambridge last month. "That was always my big goal, being consistent at this level. All the best guys in the world do it so well, and I want to be competitive at the top level."
Kamil Kuczynski (Poland) proved too strong for Lewis in the 1/16 finals who finished in 15th position. Bronze went to Kenny ahead of Francois Pervis (France).
A long charge by reigning national champion Stephanie Morton earned her a silver medal in the keirin missing gold by the smallest of margins to 2010 world champion Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania).
"It's been awesome. It's the most successful World Cup season I have had so cant complain at all," said Morton on claiming her fourth silver medal this season.
"I was buzzing for the final after just watching Pat [Constable] win the sprint. I had to go the long way around and copped a couple of hooks so that wasn't ideal.
"It turned into a long sprint but I put on the after burners and was happy to walk away with a silver."
Earlier Morton was dominant in round one before again making easy work of her heat in round two to advance to the final.
After finishing sixth in her heat Caitlin Ward was forced to go in to the repechage, where she finished fourth missing out on advancing.
Wai Sze Lee completed the podium in another popular local result for the Hong Kong crowd.
Australian Champion Scott Law finished sixth after two top three finishes in the on the final day and an tactical points race.
After starting the day in 12th Law finished third in the one kilometre time trial in one minute 3.709 seconds. Law continued his move up the standings finishing second in the flying lap with 13.127secs.
After biding his time and picking up points Law was part of a dangerous four rider move with Thomas Boudat (France), Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan) and Gael Suter (Switzerland) on the attack at the half way mark.
With Zakharov and Boudat sitting first and second at the time and Law also dangerous the bunch was quick to chase them down. Law continued to pick up points across the sprints to end the competition sixth.
The battle for gold went down to the final sprint with former world champion Boudat emerging on top with 181 points ahead of Olympic Champion Lasse Norman-Hansen (Denmark) on 175 and Zakharov 172.
Elissa Wundersitz finished the omnium 16th after an aggressive final points race where she took an early lap to collect 20 points.
Wundersitz started the final day in 22nd in the 500m time trial in a time of 37.346secs. Before posting a time of 14.841secs for 16th in the flying lap. Leaving Wundersitz 15th ahead of the all important points race.
Ahead of the half way point Wundersitz combined with Xiao Juan Diao (Hong Kong), Jannie Milena Salcedo (Colombia) and Holly Edmondston (Edmondson) to take a lap.
Inside the final 30 laps Wundersitz attacked again in an effort to move up the standings but aware of the danger the bunch was quick to close her down.
Gold went to Laura Trott (Great Britain) on 188 ahead of Sarah Hammer (United States) 170 who just held off Laurie Berthon (France) on 166.