Glaetzer and Morton claim sprint and keirin titles on day 3 of 2019 Oceania Track Championships
Commonwealth Games gold medallists took centre stage on the penultimate day of the 2019 Oceania Track Championships at the Adelaide Super-Drome, Friday October 12.
World Champion Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) added a fifth Oceania sprint title to his ever growing palmares while impressing the crowd in the rainbow jersey. In the women’s keirin it was Stephanie Morton (Australia) who stormed clear to take the gold. Conor Leahy (Australia) took his first elite gold medal improving on bronze a year ago in the individual pursuit and Georgia Baker claimed gold in the omnium.
World Champion Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) resplendent in his rainbow jersey delighted the crowd with his sprinting talent as he raced his way to a fifth career Oceania sprint crown.
Glaetzer set a blistering time of 9.725secs to top qualifying before dispatching Jackson Ogle in the 1/8 final. In the quarterfinal Glaetzer proved too quick for defending champion and the only other rider to stand on the top step of the podium in the last eight Championships Sam Webster (New Zealand) before booking a spot in the final over Edward Dawkins (New Zealand). The final saw a tough battle with Nathan Hart (Australia) who left it all on the track, though was unable to stop Glaetzer marching to the top of the podium.
The race for bronze went to a decider with Jacob Schmid (Australia) making it an Australian 1-2-3 in a closely matched battle with Dawkins.
“I have messed it up the last couple of years, so I am really glad to get it back. It is an important title for us with good points and now Olympic qualifying has begun it is really important for us,” explained Glaetzer.
“It was a bit of added pressure,” he added of racing in the rainbow jersey in front of a home crowd. “That was good for me like to pile the pressure on ahead of international racing.
“The crowd was great tonight. It is special as we haven’t had an Aussie sprint world champion for a number of years so honoured I can put the bands on and show it off to the crowd with some good racing.”
Local favourite Stephanie Morton (Australia) reigned supreme in the keirin claiming a fifth title in the event in dominating fashion putting several bike lengths in to the field as she crossed the line. New Zealand’s rising star Olivia Podmore (New Zealand) who claimed the 2014 under 19 title produced a strong ride to collect silver with 2012 champion Natasha Hansen (New Zealand) completing the podium.
“It was a tough one, but it was good with a real quality field out there. It is pretty cool the Oceania’s here in Adelaide we are getting such a strong women’s field so to come away with the win I was really happy,” said Morton.
Morton now turns her attention to Saturday’s sprint competition where she is chasing her third gold of the week.
“I will take it one race at a time. As I said the quality of women’s sprinting has gone up and we have the young Aussie girls and the young Kiwi girls plus you already have the seniors on either team as well, so I am looking forward to it.”
Men’s Individual Pursuit
It was a battle of the rising stars in the men’s individual pursuit with 2018 bronze medallist Conor Leahy (Australia) claiming the biggest win of his career stopping the clock in 4mins 18.872secs, catching silver medallist Lucas Plapp (Australia) on the way.
Plapp who claimed two junior world titles in Aigle, Switzerland in August and silver in the time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Austria last month made his first trip to the podium as an elite rider. Ben Harvey (Australia) completed the podium.
Georgia Baker (Australia) was too strong throughout the four event omnium competition with the 2016 champion winning the scratch, tempo and elimination races to go in to the points race with the maximum 120 points, 16 clear of her closest rivals.
Making her status as race leader know she quickly added to her total taking the first sprint before monitoring the race closely for the remaining 70 laps. Despite attempts to unseat her from the top of the standings Baker’s speed proved too much to finish on 131 points. Silver went to Annette Edmondson (Australia-117) with three time gold medallist Ashlee Ankudinoff on 115 points completing an all Australian podium.
In the junior omniums Ella Sibley (Australia) emerged with gold on 136 points followed by Eva Parkinson (New Zealand-126) and Ashley Jones (Australia-114). The men’s title went to Bill Simpson (Australia) in a race that came down to the final sprint edging Graeme Frislee by just one point. Bronze went to Rohan Haydon-Smith.
Tyla Green put New Zealand on the top step on the podium in the keirin beating Elizabeth Nuspan (Australia) and Heather May (Australia) to the line.
Sam Gallagher sprint to the sprint title ahead of John Trovas with bronze going to Carlos Carismo.