Date: Sunday, 17 January 2016

New Zealand’s young talent continued to impress on the second day of the final UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Hong Kong today.

The women’s team pursuit that includes three teenagers has finished fifth in the women’s team pursuit, while sprinters Zac Williams and Natasha Hansen were fourth and ninth respectively.

The quartet of Bryony Botha 18, newcomers Michaela Drummond 17 and Nina Wollaston 19 along with the experience of Waikato’s Philippa Sutton beat Germany in the ride for fifth clocking 4:30.403, their fastest of the week. They were ahead by more than a second after the first kilometre and continued to edge further ahead throughout in an encouraging performance.

Earlier they beat Poland in the second round ride in 4:31.432 in a dominating display. With Great Britain and Canada winning their semifinals, the Kiwi quartet was third fastest among the other six qualifiers, to earn a ride off for fifth place.Canada, the in-form nation in the World Cup, edged Great Britain for the gold medal.

Twenty-year-old Williams was outstanding throughout the keirin competition, edged out of a spot in his first World Cup podium by 2/100ths of a second.

He was second in his opening heat in the keirin competition and then finished a close second to Japan’s Yuta Wakimoto in the semifinal to qualify for his first World Cup final.

Williams sprinted strongly from the back in the final but was a fraction away from the podium in fourth place behind Korea’s Chaebin Im.

Hansen finished ninth overall in a high quality women’s sprint competition, her best at a World Cup competition. She clocked 11.107 to be seventh fastest in qualifying, as she edges closer to going under the 11 second barrier at sea level.

The 26 year old beat double world champion Rebecca James (GBR) in the first round but was edged by Australian star Kaarle McCulloch in the round of eight, and was pipped in the final sprint in the repechage to miss out on the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile 2013 world champion Aaron Gate is solidly placed after the first day of the men’s omnium. He was eighth in the scratch race, sixth in the 4000m individual pursuit in 4:24.963 and third in the elimination, with the competition led by Artyom Zakharov (KAZ) and Thomas Boudat (FRA).

It also features the return of road star Mark Cavendish (GBR) who was third in the scratch and second in the elimination.

Teenager Holly Edmondston, who rode in the women’s team pursuit on the opening day, switched to the women’s omnium.

She was 14th in the scratch race, 15th in the3000m individual pursuit in 3:44.360 and 14th in the elimination in a tight competition between 2014 world champion Sarah Hammer (USA) and Olympic champion Laura Trott.

The World Cup finishes tomorrow.

Results:

Women 4000m team pursuit round 2: Great Britain 4:18.172 bt China 4:25.915; Canada 4:20.003 bt USA 4:23.515; New Zealand (Bryony Botha, Michaela Drummond, Philippa Sutton, Nina Wollaston) 4:31.432 bt Poland 4:36.639; Germany 4:32.689 bt Italy 4:33.696.

Gold ride: Canada 4:19.737 bt Great Britain 4:20.034; Bronze: USA 4:21.412 bt China 4:26.540; 5th-6th: New Zealand 4:30.403 bt Germany 4:31.907.

Women sprint, qualifying: Stephanie Morton (AUS) 10.873, 1; Anastasia Voinova (RUS) 10.931, 2; Wai Sze Lee (HGK) 10.940. Also: Natasha Hansen 11.107, 7.

Round 1: Hansen beat Rebecca James (GBR). Round 2: Hansen lost to Kaarle McCulloch (AUS). Repechage: Hansen 3rd. Final, gold: Lin Junghong (CHN) bt Lee 2-0; Bronze: Voinova bt Morton 2-0.

Men Keirin: Round 1 heat 2: Tobias Wachter (GER) 1, Zac Williams (NZL) 2 (2 to qualify); Semifinal  1: Yuta Wakimoto (JPN) 1, Williams 2, Chaebin Im (KOR) 3; Semifinal 2: Hugo Barrette (CAN) 1, Wachter 2, Matthijs Buchli (NED) 3. Final: Buchli 1, Barrette 2, Im 3, Williams 4.

Men omnium, Scratch race: Artyom Zakharov (KAZ) 1, Mark Cavendish (GBR) 2, Thomas Boudat (FRA) 3. Also: Aaron Gate (NZL) 8. Individual pursuit: Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN) 4:20.671, 1; Zakharov 4:23.550, 2; Simone Consonni (ITA) 4:23.989, 3. Also: Gate 4:24.963, 6. Elimination: Boudat 1, Cavendish 2, Gate 3.

Women omnium, scratch race: Elissa Wundersitz (AUS) 1, Tatsiana Sharakova (BLR) 2, Angie Conzalez (VEN) 3. Also: Holly Edmondston (NZL) 14; Individual pursuit: Sarah Hammer (USA) 3:31.282, 1; Laura Trott (GBR) 3:33.317, 2; Kirsten Wild (NED) 3:36.739, 3. Also: Edmondston 3:44.360, 15; Elimination: Trott 1, Hammer 2, Jolien D’Hoore (BEL0 3. Also: Edmondston 14th.

Caption: Sprinter Natasha Hansen in the sprint qualifying at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Mexico.

Photo courtesy: Guy Swarbrick.

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