Trifecta of gold for Australia 'Gold' on opening day of AYOF
Team Australia 'Gold' dominated the velodrome on the first day of 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) on Thursday in Sydney, claiming all three events, along with one AYOF best time at the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Bass Hill.
Both teams from Australia competed in the first medal event of the AYOF program, with the Gold team too strong from the first kilometre of the men’s U19 4000 metre team pursuit final.
Joshua Harrison, Matthew Ross, Callum Scotson and Sam Welsford were behind the Australian Green team (Daniel Fitter, Bradley Heffernan, Michael Rice and Theodore Yates) by half a second after 500 metres.
But the Gold team hit the lead by one kilometre before clocking the 4000 metres in 4mins 17.395secs, 3.046secs ahead of the Green team.
Welsford said he was not too worried about being half a second behind after two laps of 16.
“We had a schedule of what we wanted to race to,” the 16-year-old said. “We beat our time from the morning so we are pretty happy.”
Japan won bronze, with Malaysia unfortunately crashing in the final kilometre in the race for third.
In the women’s U19 3000 metres team pursuit, Australia Gold was too strong for their counterparts, Australian Green.
Dual junior world champion Kelsey Robson lead her Gold teammates of Lauren Perry and Josie Talbot to cover the 3000 metres in 3mins 28.768secs, 4.262 secs ahead of Green – Alex Manly, Macey Stewart and Elissa Wundersitz.
“It was good for the time we have ridden together,” said Talbot, 16, who knew the ride would be close.
Australia Gold in the men’s U19 team sprint cut half a second off the best time for the event at an Olympic Youth Festival after New Zealand had lowered the mark minutes earlier in qualification.
Gold – Jai Angsuthasawit, Patrick Constable and Alex Radzikiewicz - lowered the best time to 46.607 seconds, around half a second quicker than their trans-Tasman rivals.
The two teams rode the final with Australia Gold having that coloured medal hung around their necks. Their 46.924 seconds was 0.149 second quicker than New Zealand.
Australia Green – Thomas Clarke, Michael Docker and Max Housden – won bronze.
Day two of the 2013 AYOF on Friday January 18 will have three medal events and the first day of the men’s omnium at Dunc Gray velodrome at Bass Hill.
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