x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Australia sweep to three cycling golds

Olympic and world champion Anna Meares leads Australia's assault in the Velodrome at the Commonwealth Games.

Australia's gold medal cyclist Anna Meares, right, hugs teammate and silver medallist Kaarle McCulloch after the  women's 500m time trial.
Australia's gold medal cyclist Anna Meares, right, hugs teammate and silver medallist Kaarle McCulloch after the women's 500m time trial.

NEW DELHI // Olympic and world champion Anna Meares was among the winners as Australia swept the three gold medals contested today, the first day of the cycling competition at the Commonwealth Games. 

Jack Bobridge won the men's 4,000m individual pursuit in 4min 17.495sec, squeaking past New Zealand's Jesse Sergent, who finished at 4:17.893 for a silver. Michael Hepburn of Australia won the bronze.

Bobridge, who won the bronze medal in the event at the world championships, set a games record 4:14.845 in a qualifying heat. The previous games record was 4:16.358, set by Bradley McGee of Australia in Manchester in 2002. The world record of 4:11.114 is held by Christopher Boardman of Britain, set in 1996. 

Australians also set games records in the time trials, with Meares winning the women's 500m event and Scott Sunderland winning the 1km race.

Meares finished in 33.758sec, beating the record of 34.326 she set in 2006, overhauling teammate Kaarle McCulloch's 34.780, which was good enough for silver. Becky James of Wales took the bronze. 

"It's been a great start ... this is the best way you can possibly kick off a team's start. It helps with the high morale, it helps with emotions, and nerves," Meares said. "This team is definitely capable."

Meares had won a gold medal during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, by setting a then world record of 33.952. The women's 500m time trial event was cut from the Olympic program and Meares could not defend her title in 2008 at Beijing. 

Sunderland won the men's race in 1:01.411, beating the games record of 1:01.726 set by Chris Hoy of Scotland at Manchester in 2002. 

The 22-year-old Sunderland was nearly 1.5sec faster than silver medalist Mohamad Rizal Tisin of Malaysia, who finished at 1:02.768. New Zealander Edward Dawkins took bronze at 1:02.777.

* Associated Press