New Zealand has kicked off its Junior Track World Championship campaign with a silver medal in the men’s 4km team pursuit in front of a packed house in Invercargill tonight.
The Kiwi contingent of Dylan Kennett from Waimate, Alexandra’s Liam Aitcheson, Hayden McCormick from Te Awamutu and Canterbury’s Hamish Schreurs were edged out by their trans-tasman counterparts in the gold medal ride by less than two seconds, to finish in a time of 4:08:124.
"The boys dug pretty deep this morning to get into the final and then came out tonight and produced the same time again. They’ve left nothing on the track and earned a spot on the podium so you have to be happy with that," said New Zealand coach Ross Machejefski.
"It’s a great start to the week and with a couple more finals to come for us tonight, we’re sure to see some more outstanding rides."
The Australians successfully defended their world title in a time of 4:06:277, after winning this event in Moscow last year. Russia rounded out the podium after catching the Ukranians in the bronze medal race.
The New Zealand men’s pursuit team averaged 58kmph on their way to upsetting defending world champions Australian to post the quickest time in qualifying of 4:08:125.
"The timing we did was pretty much on the mark of what we wanted to ride. The boys thought they could ride a 4:08 if they executed a good start and they did that, as well as some big laps through the middle from Dylan Kennett which got us over the line on top," Machejefski said.
Russia won the bronze medal when they caught Ukraine with two laps remaining.
New Zealand is guaranteed at least three further medals tonight with the women’s team pursuit and both the men’s and women’s sprint teams lining up in gold medal races.
The pursuit team of Cassie Cameron from Wanganui, Otago’s Alysha Keith and Racquel Sheath from Auckland will race against defending champions Australia for gold after progressing through this afternoons qualifying in second position.
The men’s sprinters of Tom Beadle and Jeremy Presbury from Southland, along with Zac Williams from Auckland will race also race against Australia in the gold medal ride.
The women’s sprint team of Paige Paterson from Auckland and Victoria Steel from Canterbury will take on Russia, who set a new world record during qualifying, in the gold medal ride.
Day 1 finals results:
Men’s 4000m team pursuit, gold medal ride: Australia (Jack Cummings, Evan Hull, Alexander Morgan, Miles Scotson) 4:06.277, 1 ; New Zealand (Liam Aitcheson, Dylan Kennett, Hayden McCormick, Hamish Schreurs) 4:08.124, 2. Bronze medal: Russia (Alexey Kurbatov, Andrey Sazanov, Dmitry Strahov, Aydar Zakarin) 3; Ukraine (Illya Klepikov, Vladyslav Kreminskyi, Roman Lutsyshyn, Dmytro Motsnyy) 4, caught.
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