Temperatures soar and records fall at AYOF
Australia and New Zealand shared the spoils on a hot day two of the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival track cycling program on Friday.
On an afternoon where the temperature at nearby Bankstown hit 46.1 degrees, the action was conducted in a slightly cooler Dunc Gray velodrome at Bass Hill.
Australia’s Josie Talbot continued her golden run at the festival after a strong display in the women’s U19 5km scratch race.
Talbot hit the front in the final lap of 20 to easily hold off her compatriots Kelsey Robson and Macey Stewart.
The 16-year-old rider from New South Wales was a victorious part of the women’s 3000 metres team pursuit on Thursday.
“I worked out when to kick, and that worked out,” Talbot said. “They are a very strong group (of riders), so to know I can beat them, it give me confidence for the rest of the race.”
Talbot will race her favourite event, the omnium, on Saturday.
Tasmania’s Macey Stewart placed third in the scratch race, which was one of her first major events since a terrible crash last July left her unconscious for 10 minutes.
“It feels great…against such a hard competition with the Australian girls it’s an awesome achievement for me” the 17-year-old said.
Victorian Courtney Field outsmarted fastest qualifier Tian Bennett from Western Australia to win the women’s U19 sprint 2-0.
Both riders had progressed through their semi-finals unbeaten and Field said she thought her lack of competition against older riders could have caused her some trouble on the boards.
“I wasn’t really sure how it was going to play out, and if their tactics and experience were to out run me, but you know I just gave it my all and just tried to use what I have to my advantage,” Field, 15, said.
Tennille Falappi from Queensland won the bronze.
New Zealand’s Jeremy Presbury won the first international gold medal of the track cycling competition.
Presbury crossed the line in the men’s U19 keirin final ahead of his compatriot Callum Saunders and Malaysia’s Muhammad Firdau Mohd Zonis.
The 17-year-old hit the lead on the final back strait of eight laps with Presbury and Mohd Zonis passing Australia’s Alex Radzikiewicz for the minor medals.
Radzikiewicz was the sole Australian in the final field of six riders.
Australia’s Bradley Heffernan and Chad Elliston from New Zealand lead the six-event men’s U19 omnium after day one on 10 points.
Heffernan led the competition after the first event, the flying 250m lap, with Elliston in second spot.
Astute tactics by Michel Rice in winning the elimination race catapulted the 16-year-old into third spot overall after day one on 14 points.
Callum Scotson from South Australia and Japan’s Hiroto Harai are within striking distance on 17 points in equal fourth.
Two gold medals, the men’s U19 omnium and the women’s U19 keirin, are on the line on the third day of the 2013 AYOF track cycling program. The first day of competition for the men’s U19 sprint and the women’s U19 omnium will begin also on Saturday.
|News: Junior track stars embracing AYOF|