After producing the two fastest times ever in this country in qualifying, Kiwi star Eddie Dawkins takes on Australian Matthew Glaetzer in tonight’s sprint final at the UCI Oceania Track Cycling Championships at Invercargill.
Earlier the pair set the SIT No Fees Velodrome on fire with the first two sub-10 second performances in qualifying for the 200m men’s print.
Dawkins broke his own national record clocking 9.907 seconds before Glaetzer went even faster in an exciting session, timed at a stunning 9.828s to set the fastest sea level time by an Australian.
The pair worked their way expertly through three rounds of elimination racing without blemish. Dawkins beat fellow Southlander Jeremy Presbury in the first round before dispatching Australian Nathan Hart in the quarterfinal and High Performance teammate Matt Archibald in the semifinal, both in two straight rides.
Glaetzer beat Southland’s Ben Stewart and fellow Australians Jacob Schmid and Mitchell Bullen to advance to tonight’s final.
Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares is the hottest of favourites for the women’s title after cruising through the quarterfinals and semifinals with ease. She will meet fellow Australian Stephanie Morton in the final after the paralympic gold medallist, as tandem pilot, beat off the challenge from young New Zealander Stephanie McKenzie in two straight rides.
Meares had earlier topped the women’s qualifiers in 11.011, the fastest time recorded in New Zealand although outside the time she set on the way to the gold medal at the London Olympics and her world record of 10.782s.
Australian Luke Davison holds a one point lead over world champion Aaron Gate after four rounds of the omnium, after the Kiwi was fastest in the individual pursuit, with the final two events – the scratch race and 1000m time trial – tonight.
Australia’s Olympic medallist Annette Edmondson continued her domination in the women’s omnium to be fastest in the individual pursuit, her fourth straight win in the competition.