Date: Tuesday, 10 April 2018

A historic ride by Eddie Dawkins was not enough to secure a second Commonwealth Games gold on Sunday night.

Riding the one kilometre time trial, Dawkins was one of the early starters and set a blistering time of 59.928 seconds, averaging more than 60 kilometres per hour from a standing start to make him the first rider in Commonwealth Games history to break the one minute barrier.

It was a personal best time for Dawkins, as well as a New Zealand record at sea level.

Eddie Dawkins became the first rider to break the one minute mark for the kilometre time trial in the Commonwealth Games.

He had a long wait ahead of him, watching rider after rider fail to come close to his time, and with just one rider remaining, Dawkins was still sitting in gold medal position.

The last rider off was Matthew Glaetzer, of Australia, the only rider in the competition to have broken the one minute barrier before, and he set a new Commonwealth Games record of 59.340 seconds to take gold.

At the conclusion of the track cycling events on Sunday night, Southlanders had claimed one gold, four silvers, and three bronze medals.

Overall New Zealand claimed two golds, six silvers, and four bronze medals, for a total of 12 medals from track cycling, matching the number of medals claimed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Dawkins led the way for the Southlanders with a gold in the team sprint, a silver in the one kilometre time trial, and a bronze in the Keirin.

In the Keirin, Dawkins had to do it the hard way, coming through the second-chance repechage round after failing to qualify from his first round heat, but still produced a powerful ride to claim the bronze.

Natasha Hansen also claimed three medals with a silver in individual sprint and a bronze in the Keirin to back up her silver in the team sprint earlier.

"I'm pleased I have put work on hold for now to really focus on Tokyo 2020. We have had the support over the last few years for a women's program and now we have the depth," she said.

Emma Cumming, making her Commonwealth Games debut, partnered with Hansen in the team sprint for a silver, and took a bronze in the 500m time trial.

Cumming set a new personal best to record a time of 34.23 seconds, enough to claim the bronze, just ahead of Hansen in fourth.

"The women's team sprint has come a long way in the last year due to the three female sprint girls Tarsh [Hansen], Liv [Podmore] and I. Liv didn't line up with us [in the team sprint] but she was there every step of the way pushing us and getting us to where we are today," Cumming said.

Kirstie Klingenberg was also in action during the weekend after her silver medal in the team pursuit earlier.

In the individual pursuit, Klingenberg produced a new personal best time of 3:29.192, qualifying in fifth place and falling just short of qualifying for the medal finals, with another fifth place in the 10km scratch race as well. 

Klingenberg said it was really disappointing to come so close in the scratch race and just miss out on a medal, but overall she was happy with her performances during the games.

"Getting a medal in the team pursuit was a dream come true and I'm also really proud to be one of the few New Zealanders to break the 3:30 mark in the individual pursuit," she said.

Tom Sexton, in his Commonwealth Games debut, performed very well in the points race, helping his team-mate Campbell Stewart secure the silver medal, and finishing in tenth place.

"We knew we were going in with three capable riders with different racing abilities, some being able to take laps, some being able to sprint. So it was good to set up all three of us getting two quick laps on the field early on in the race," he said.

Nick Kergozou took part in the individual pursuit, recording a 13th place finish.

Sprinter Bradly Knipe also made his Commonwealth Games debut but failed to progress beyond the qualifying rounds of a very competitive Keirin.

Article courtesy The Southland Times, photo courtesy Photosport

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