Highlight of the day at the Commonwealth Games 2014 velodrome was without doubt the gold medal won by Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean in the Para B2 Tandem Kilo Time Trial.
Going off last and fastest at every check, the pair were carried along by the enormous, ear-splitting roar from the full-capacity crowd, with lots of Scots but also a fair percentage of other nations too all voicing their support for the effort and spectacle.
The track always throws up drama and great competition, and today we saw great Pursuit wins for England (Joanna Rowsell) and Australia (Jack Bobridge), and exciting Sprint finals with New Zealand’s Sam Webster claiming gold over Jason Kenny (England), with Kiwi Ed Dawkins winning the bronze from Peter Lewis (Australia).
Women’s Individual Pursuit
Reigning World Pursuit Champion England’s Joanna Rowsell took on Anette Edmonson (Australia) in the final after the two qualified first and second in the morning session, Rowsell setting a new Games Record in her qualifying heat with her ride of 3:29.038.
Edmonson started very quickly in the final and for the first three laps it looked like she would give Rowsell a run for her money, but once Rowsell was into her stride she quickly rode the gap down and by half distance was in command and moving to catch sight of Edmonson on the straights, finishing just shy of four seconds up on the Australian.
Scotland’s Katie Archibald qualified fourth behind Amy Cure of Australia, and in the ride off for the bronze medal was two seconds slower to end up off the podium the looking forward to the next bunch race.
Photo Gallery: Women’s Individual Pursuit
2 Annette Edmondson (Australia) 0:03:30.728
3 Amy Cure (Australia) 0:03:31.543
4 Katie Archibald (Scotland) 0:03:33.526
5 Jaime Nielsen (New Zealand) 0:03:34.342
6 Laura Trott (England) 0:03:35.213
7 Elinor Barker (Wales) 0:03:36.803
8 Dani King (England) 0:03:38.084
9 Lauren Ellis (New Zealand) 0:03:39.716
10 Laura Brown (Canada) 0:03:40.035
11 Jasmin Glaesser (Canada) 0:03:40.050
12 Anna Turvey (Scotland) 0:03:42.525
13 Amy Roberts (Wales) 0:03:42.623
14 Stephanie Roorda (Canada) 0:03:42.924
15 Ciara Horne (Wales) 0:03:45.119
16 Georgia Williams (New Zealand) 0:03:45.334
17 Sunita Yanglem (India) 0:04:07.614
18 Tamiko Butler (Antigua and Barbuda) 0:04:08.979
19 Bianca Hernould (Jamaica) 0:04:19.202
DNS Rahila Bano (Pakistan)
2 Annette Edmonson (Australia) 0:03:35.450
3 Amy Cure (Australia) 0:03:35.384
4 Katie Archibald (Scotland) 0:03:37.078
Men’s Individual Pursuit
As in the Women’s event, the Final result mirrored the Qualifying round and we saw Australian Jack Bobridge ride a controlled, measured pursuit to take gold, with Anette’s brother Alex finishing a very close second, both of them producing very quick times.
Bobridge’s qualifying time was over a second better than his good friend Edmonson’s, but once Edmonson knew he wasn’t going to take gold in the final the pace went out of his ride and he finished six seconds back.
In the final, Edmonson was in charge for the first kilo, but by the end of the next one Bobridge had pulled the small gap back and edged into the lead, which grew over the next half of the match.
Photo Gallery: Men’s Individual Pursuit
2 Alex Edmondson (Australia) 0:04:20.853
3 Owain Doull (Wales) 0:04:21.369
4 Marc Ryan (New Zealand) 0:04:22.511
5 Andy Tennant (England) 0:04:23.723
6 Miles Scotson (Australia) 0:04:24.819
7 Patrick Bevin (New Zealand) 0:04:26.909
8 Dylan Kennett (New Zealand) 0:04:26.930
9 Remi Pelletier (Canada) 0:04:28.525
10 Steven Burke (England) 0:04:31.752
11 Mark Stewart (Scotland) 0:04:32.279
12 Ed Veal (Canada) 0:04:33.775
13 Theuns Van der Bank (South Africa) 0:04:40.041
14 Morne Van Niekerk (South Africa) 0:04:44.415
15 Oupa Maluleke (South Africa) 0:04:48.368
16 Manjeet Singh (India) 0:04:55.164
17 Sombir (India) 0:04:57.202
18 Amit Kumar (India) 0:04:58.444
19 Muhammad Shakeel (Pakistan)
2 Alex Edmondson (Australia) 0:04:24.620
3 Marc Ryan (New Zealand) 0:04:23.599
4 Owain Doull (Wales) 0:04:25.664
Men’s B2 Tandem 1000m Time Trial
Scotland’s Neil Fachie and pilot Craig MacLean brought the house down with an exciting four laps on the tandem.
Going off last of the five outfits, the roar from the crowd as they were clearly ahead, but not by much, was incredible.
Fachie, the current Paralympic Champion showed the hard work with partner MacLean (who won the Tandem B2 Sprint at the London Paralympics with Anthony Kappes) was worth it as the pair accelerated all the way to the line.
Finishing less than two tenths of a second ahead of Aussies Kieran Modra and Jason Niblett meant that the home nation was on the Games medal board with it’s first gold.
Photo Gallery: Men’s B2 Tandem 1000m Time Trial
2 Kieran Modra/ Jason Niblett (Australia) 0:01:02.244
3 Matthew Ellis/ Ieuan Williams (Wales) 0:01:04.095
4 Paul Kennedy/ Thomas Clarke (Australia) 0:01:05.261
5 James Brown/ Dave Readle (Northern Ireland) 0:01:09.413
Amazingly, current Team Sprint World Champion Sam Webster’s (New Zealand) gold medal was his country’s first ever Sprint victory since the event was put into the Games.
Webster was facing England’s Jason Kenny in the final, with Kenny clearly not firing on all cylinders having qualified with only the 11th fastest 200m time.
Despite this, Kenny took the second ride after Webster had secured the first, and the pair needed a third to decide the destination of the gold. Webster made sure of the win showing his top end speed was superior.
We were told by a team insider that Kenny has changed his training regimen and has been spending a lot more time than usual in the weights room, trying to build bulk – which isn’t necessarily compatible with pure speed, so second place and the silver medal whilst in the middle of a ‘training phase’ is probably more than he expected.
Photo Gallery: Men’s Sprint – Finals
2 Jason Kenny (England)
3 Edward Dawkins (New Zealand)
4 Peter Lewis (Australia)