The track cycling event is formally over with some blistering performances by the Australians who dominated the final events. The controversy over Perkins’ two fingered salute has caused him to withdraw voluntarily from the men’s team sprint but that didn’t stop the recently reorganized Australian team sprint composed of our favorite trio, Scott Sunderland, Daniel Ellis and Jason Niblett to break the Commonwealth Record and claim the gold medal. Such a beautiful closer to a spectacular track cycling event mired by controversies.
Here’s the final medal tally. Just as we have predicted, Australia totally dominated the events, with New Zealand coming in with second place. The Malaysian contingent was especially strong and they could have added a medal were it not for Azizulhasni Awang’s disqualification (rather disappointing really after he crossed the line first in a spectacular show of brisk reflexes and guts). The Brits did well despite the absence of favorites, Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton though overall they didn’t perform as well as they did in the previous games. India, with their inexperience performed adequately but not enough to garner a medal, but for a first try, it was respectable and they might have did well in a track cycling event on a smaller scale.
The events for the last day of track racing includes the 20 km scratch race and the team sprint. In the men’s team sprint, the Australian team of Jason Niblett, Daniel Ellis and Scott Sunderland took gold and a new Commonwealth Games record in a dramatic final against the New Zealand team of Sam Webster, Ethan Mitchell and Eddie Dawkins. The Australian team opened with a scorching 17.6 opening lap, putting their opponents in a position from which they never recovered. Moreover at the start of the final lap; New Zealand’s Sam Webster, peeled off and punctured, losing his front wheel at full speed entering the banking, falling heavily on his right shoulder leaving him with several abrasions, a possible fracture, and half a skinsuit. Here’s a look at the carnage.
Despite the crash, the Kiwis came away from the race happy to have snagged the silver medal and second to Australia in the medal tally. It was indeed a beautiful performance for the New Zealand track team.
The Malaysian trio of Awang, Ng and Tisin beat the young Scotland team of John Paul, Chris Pritchard and Callum Skinner to claim the bronze medal. The Malaysians’ experience with the sport certainly factored in their advantage over the Scots who came behind over a second.
Australian sensation Cameron Meyer took his third gold of the games in a totally dominant performance in the Men’s Scratch race. Meyer made his decisive move at the halfway point, going clear of the field alone. Canada’s Zach Bell tried to take advantage and go with him but soon felt the effects of trying to hold Meyer’s wheel, eventually shaking his head and sitting up, letting Meyer romp away and take a lap. From here on in, Meyer and his Australian teammates policed the race, marking every attack in a highly combative race. With gold pretty much in the bag for Meyer, it was a question of who would take the remaining steps on the podium. In the end, Freiburg took the silver medal and Zach Bell earned the bronze.