Commonwealth Games Update 3 - Bikenz

Postby Tama on Fri 17/Mar/06 3:07pm

Day One -

Day one of competition was one of great anticipation, but did not quite live up to its potential for the kiwi cyclists competing. But that is only if you look at the medal tally.

In reality, while no kiwi came away with a medal, a couple of fourths and personal best times by three of the six riders showed how strong the competition in Melbourne is.

Without doubt the highlight of the night was the qualifying race by Blenheim’s Jason Allen. His qualifying time of 4.22.941 in the 4000m individual pursuit was just over a second of a spot in the race for gold and silver, and the third fastest time of the day. It secured him a race for the bronze, but Allen was unable to repeat his amazing qualifying time and had to settle for a very respectable fourth.

Marc Ryan was fifth in the Men’s individual pursuit and Hayden Roulston was eighth. Roulston's good form in recent times meant he was expected to produce a faster time, but quite simply it was not his night. Roulston had no excuses and was full of praise for Allen and the other riders who produced faster times than his 4.30.742. English riders won the gold, silver and bronze.

Another outstanding race was from Fiona Carswell in the Women’s 500m Time Trial. Carswell’s time was a personal best and considering she has only been back on her bike for around six months she was absolutely “stoked” with her time. Carswell came in fourth and was half a second off the bronze. The gold and bronze went to Anna and Kerrie Meares, who have been the talk of Australia today. New Zealand’s Elisabeth Williams was fifth.

Hayden Godfrey was another ecstatic rider. His time of 1.03.919 was good enough for fifth in the Men’s 1000m Time Trial. Godfrey was a late entry, and his time was a personal best and had a chance for a medal right up until the last two riders raced. The race was won by Australian Ben Kersten.

With Australia picking up three gold medals in total on day one, and two of them from the MPV (Multi Purpose Venue) where the cycling is happening, track cycling has had more than its share of attention in the Australian media.

Earlier in the day the Queen payed a visit to the Games Village. The Queen inspected the accommodation and facilities, before joining athletes for lunch in the dining hall. The 24 hour dining hall, which is larger than a rugby field and catering 20,000 meals a day, has all types of food available to cater for the tastes of 71 nationalities.

Friday sees Henderson, Roulston and Bowker in the Points qualifying race at 12.30pm New Zealand time, Stewart, Grace and Seddon in the Men’s Keirin, and Sell, Kiesanowski and Boyd in the Women’s Points race.
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