Australia, New Zealand boost cycling dominance at CWG
Glasgow: Oceanic powerhouses Australia and New Zealand added to their already impressive Commonwealth Games cycling medal hauls with another dominant day on the track on Friday.
Australia`s Jack Bobridge claimed his second gold of the Games as he retained his men`s 4000m individual pursuit title to add to the team pursuit gold he won on Thursday.
"It was a fantastic honour to come back to the track guys and try and defend my two titles from Delhi and I am over the moon to be able to do it," said Bobridge, who only had two weeks of training on the track before the Games.
"To walk away with two golds again is amazing."
The world record holder finished nearly five seconds ahead of team-mate and world champion Alex Edmonson in the final.
"It was awesome to race him. He`s like a brother to me now and we are going to be together right through to Rio (2016 Olympics) and hopefully beyond," Bobridge said of his compatriot.
New Zealand claimed bronze as veteran Marc Ryan powered home ahead of Owain Doull from Wales.
There was more success for the Kiwis as Sam Webster won a thrilling men`s sprint final against England`s Jason Kenny.
Webster, who defeated team-mate Marc Ryan in the semi-final, claimed first blood with a runaway victory in the first heat before Kenny levelled following a photo finish in the second.
However, the 23-year-old, who claimed bronze medal in Delhi, powered home to victory in the decisive third heat to collect his second gold of the Games following New Zealand`s win in the team sprint on Thursday.
"After yesterday I was really happy with how I came into the individual sprint. I felt like I was dominant but conservative," Webster said.
"We were able to look at the split time sheets from yesterday so I knew that I had a speed advantage over all the other guys who rode last night.
"To have someone like Jason in the final, who always brings a sense of speed, power, strength and tactics, meant I knew I had to be on the ball."
Olympic champion Kenny had needed a first round repechage to make it through to the last eight but he showed the kind of tactical skill that won him Olympic gold in 2012 to first see off up-and-coming Australian Matthew Glaetzer and then Peter Lewis to make it to the final.
The English star, who claimed a silver in the team sprint on Thursday, was disappointed not to claim the first Commonwealth gold of his career.
"It`s always disappointing to get silver but at I was happy to be in the mix and take him to three rides," Kenny said.
"At the end of the day we`re talking about fractions that I missed out on the gold."
New Zealand took the bronze as Eddie Dawkins saw off Australian Peter Lewis with a win in two heats.
World champion Joanna Rowsell claimed gold for England in the women`s 3000m individual pursuit.
The 25-year-old, who set a new Commonwealth record in qualifying, finished nearly four seconds ahead of Australia`s Annette Edmondson, sister of men`s 4000m individual pursuit silver medallist Alex.
"This feels absolutely brilliant," a jubilant Rowsell said.
"The individual pursuit is one of my favourite events. It was really nice to come here and actually just train for it and I`m really glad it`s all paid off.
"The qualifying ride beat my personal best that I set at the World Championships in Cali at altitude so I`m really pleased to get a new PB and to set a Commonwealth record is very special."
Australia also took home the bronze with Amy Cure edging out Scotland`s Katie Archibald.
Host nation Scotland won its first track cycling gold medal of the Commonwealth Games as world champion Neil Fachie and pilot Craig MacLean won the para-sport 1000m time trial tandem.
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