Rebecca Wiasak wins pursuit on emotional worlds debut
Tearful Rebecca Wiasak made a stunning debut at the Track Cycling World Championships near Paris on Friday, winning the women`s individual pursuit.
The 30-year-old was Australia`s oldest ever world championship debutant having finally made the team after missing out narrowly at the Commonwealth Games and World Championships last year.
But having finally been given her chance, Wiasak seized it with both hands.
In the qualifying round she broke the Australian national record by 0.6sec and thenm in the final, she destroyed American Jennifer Valente by 3.5sec.
It was a great day for the Aussies as Amy Cure took the bronze medal, beating the reigning champion Joanna Rowsell of Britain by almost 3.5sec.
Rowsell seemed well off the pace all day having also been beaten by the record-breaking Australians in the team pursuit on Thursday.
But it was Wiasak`s day and she said she had been inspired by seeing her team-mates win gold in a world record.
"I`ve dreamed about this alongside my four teammates who are here and I saw them win gold yesterday and put the rainbows on, and I really wanted that to be me," she said.
"I felt very much a part of it but I wasn`t on the podium with the girls and they all believed in me and had so many kind words of support over night.
"I was definitely a part of it yesterday and I really wanted to stand on the top step. I`ve done all the training to be there."
Wiasak added: "I knew I was in form and had to really believe in myself and while it was really disappointing yesterday, the girls definitely inspired me with their win.
"I think I cried for three of the four kilometres there on the track (Thursday) and then for a lot of the podium presentation afterwards.
"I almost held it together while I was standing there up top but my team-mates and the Australians were looking at me and I did, I lost it a little bit there. A few tears were shared but it`s such a proud moment."Frenchman Francois Pervis made it a hat-trick of men`s 1km time-trial titles with a ride that rose the roof at the national velodrome in front of his adoring home fans.
Having already won the keirin on Thursday, Pervis now has six world titles, and three in a row in the time-trial.
Joachim Eilers had to settle for silver for the second year in a row with Matthew Archibald of New Zealand in bronze.
Russian Artur Ershov emerged victorious at the end of a bewildering 160 laps in the men`s points race.
Ershov was one of five riders to gain a lap on the pack and the medals came from among them.
Spain`s Eloy Teruel took silver, his third podium finish in a row, and Germany`s Maximilian Beyer came in third.
In other events, world champion Kristina Vogel remained on course to defend her women`s sprint title.
But the Kazakhstan-born 24-year-old needed two photo finishes to see off Russia`s newly-crowned 500m time-trial champion Anastasia Voynova in the quarter-finals.
Vogel will face China`s Zhong Tianshi, silver medallist behind the German 12 months ago, in Saturday`s semi-final while Australian Stephanie Morton will be up against Elis Ligtlee of the Netherlands.
Young Colombian sprint sensation Fernando Gaviria was leading the men`s omnium following the first three disciplines.
Gaviria secured top three finishes in the scratch race, individual pursuit and elimination race to end the day top of the six-discipline event with 110 points.
Italian professional sprinter Elia Viviani is second on 102 after winning the scratch and elimination races but coming only 10th in the pursuit.
Reigning world champion Thomas Boudat of France is third on 94 with Australian Glenn O`Shea, the 2012 world champion, sixth and 2013 champion Aaron Gate of New Zealand seventh.
The omnium`s final three events, the time-trial, flying lap and points race, take place on Saturday.