Triple gold for Kirstie James as Kerby, Morton, Botha and Harrison take second titles at 2018 Oceania Track Championships

New Zealand won seven gold to Australia’s five on the second day of the 2018 Oceania Track Championships in Cambridge, New Zealand. With 24 titles decided New Zealand has a slight lead with 13 to Australia’s 11 with 16 to be decided over the final two days.

Kirstie James (New Zealand) continued her dominance of the women’s endurance events to claim a third gold medal, this time in the individual pursuit, adding to team pursuit and points race titles from Monday.

World Champion Jordan Kerby (Australia) proved why he is the best in the world with a commanding ride to take the men’s individual pursuit and his second gold in two days. Bryony Botha (New Zealand) in the scratch race, Stephanie Morton (Australia) with keirin gold and Joshua Harrison (Australia) in the scratch race doubled up for a second Oceania title.

Zac Williams (New Zealand) set the fastest time ever on New Zealand soil to take out the 1km time trial.

The future stars also impressed with six titles awarded, two went to New Zealand’s Ally Wollaston (individual pursuit and points race). Australia claimed the men’s team pursuit, Shaane Fulton (New Zealand) women’s keirin, Finn Fisher-Black (New Zealand) men’s scratch and Thomas Cornish (Australia) men’s 1km time trial.

Individual Pursuits

Kerby showed his pedigree as the reigning world champion and third fastest man in history to add the Oceania title to his world and Australian crowns. A strong start by the 25-year-old Australian saw him build throughout the ride to stop the clock in 4mins 13.529secs, adding to his team pursuit title from Monday.

“It means a lot,” Kerby said following another trip to the podium.

“The main part of it was integrating it in to the team pursuit as well. I rode a couple of rounds of that yesterday and the main test today was to see how I would back up after doing two rounds of the team pursuit.

“I managed to back up with a 4:13 in the final so I’m very happy with that, it shows I am in the ballpark in terms of my individual pursuit as well as the team pursuit.

Jared Grey (New Zealand) collected silver with bronze going to Conor Leahy (Australia).

In the women’s James picked up gold medal number three of the Championships with a convincing ride in 3mins 33.835 seconds to take gold over teammate and fastest qualifier Bryony Botha (New Zealand-3:34.745) who set personal bests in qualifying and the final. Kristina Clonan (Australia) completed the podium in 3mins 38.423secs.

“I have always wanted to win a pursuit title. It is an event that shows your true form and true grit. It is the only race that can hurt you that much, so to back up after winning the points race last night, I was really happy with that,” James said.

“Tonight was all about touching up the errors I made this morning and doing consistent lap times during the whole race. I definitely improved on that which I am happy with.

Women’s Keirin

A late surge by Stephanie Morton (Australia) saw her power home over the top of silver medallist Natasha Hansen (New Zealand), as Kaarle McCulloch grabbed bronze.

AN early attack by Hansen with two laps to go opened an advantage, though Morton waited for the moment to strike and timed her run to perfection, surging clear ahead of the line.

“I am so happy after last year’s race I wasn’t too happy getting boxed in, so it is redemption this year.

Morton, the Commonwealth Games sprint champion will be looking to add a third title to her name in the sprint.
“I think there will be some really tough competition that keirin was hard. The level at Oceania Championships have really stepped up. All I can do is focus on myself and look to keep the momentum going I had at the World Cups.

Men’s 1km Time Trial

Having qualified fastest Williams (1:00.825) flew home to gold in a close battle for gold in the men’s 1km time trial with less than a second between the top six and just two tenths separating silver and sixth.

“I am absolutely stoked. The record this morning was a bit unexpected but to do that time and beating the guys I know that have gone sub 1:01 in New Zealand history is pretty cool,” said Williams who set a new New Zealand All Comers Record.

“It is hard doing two rides with the new format. You really have to dig deep in that second ride and nine times out of 10 it is never going to be as fast as the first one.

Bradly Knipe (1:01.489) and Nicholas Kergozou (1:01.517) made it an all New Zealand podium.

Scratch Races

Harrison’s speed was evident as he flew home distancing the field to claim his second gold in two days ahead of Kerby who collected his third medal with silver and Cameron Scott (Australia) the bronze.

In the women’s scratch race Botha and Breanna Hargrave (Australia) held off the bunch with the New Zealander proving quickest. Behind Josie Talbot (Australia) won the sprint to complete the podium.

Under 19

Australia’s Matthew Rice, Tom Lynch, Zachary Marshall and Daniel Gandy stormed to team pursuit gold in 4mins 11.496secs alongside Rohan Haydon-Smith who raced qualifying. New Zealand took silver with Kiaan Watts, Jarred Treymane, Bailey O’Donnell and Finn Fisher-Black and bronze with Felix Donnelly, Griffyn Spencer, Lachlan Robertson, Jared Pidcock and Liam Taylor.

The under 19 women’s individual pursuit crown went to Ally Wollaston (New Zealand-2:27.153) ahead of Lauren Robards (2:30.526) and McKenzie Milne (New Zealand-2:30.515)

Thomas Cornish (Australia-1:02.286) added 1km time trial gold in the fastest time ever set in New Zealand to his team sprint success with Rice (1:03.488) and Thomas Garbett (New Zealand-1:04.639) taking silver and bronze.

It was trip number two to the podium for Wollaston as she won the final sprint on the points race to snatch gold at the final moment on 11 points. Silver went to Annamarie Lipp (New Zealand-9) with Robards completing the podium on eight.

Women’s keirin gold went to Shaane Fulton (New Zealand) ahead of Madeline Gough (New Zealand) and Nicole Marshall (New Zealand). Fisher-Black took out the men’s scratch race, with silver going to George Jackson (New Zealand) and Lynch.