AYOF wraps up in style at Dunc Gray
Records, crashes and four gold medals entertained the punters at the Dunc Gray velodrome on the final day of the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) on Sunday.
Australian cyclists triumphed in three events, while Trans-tasman rivals New Zealand won the other gold on the boards.
Courtney Field and Tian Beckett, first and second in the individual sprint, broke the Australian and all comers record in winning the women’s U19 team sprint.
The pair rode the 500 metres in 35.364 seconds, lowering the Australian record by 0.064 of a second set by Allee Proud and Caitlin Ward in Invercargill last August.
West Australian Beckett and Field from Victoria had earlier set an AYOF best time of 35.978 seconds over the 500 metres in qualification.
Field, 15, said the pair had little practice of riding together before the event.
“We just kind of went with the flow, and just tried our best,” Field said.
Beckett said she was thrilled by her performances in the national colours at the festival.
“It feels amazing,” the 17-year-old said. “I mean representing your country is an extra boost to be at your best at these wonderful competitions.”
Field and Beckett beat the Queensland pair of Kiara Dundas and Tennille Falappi in the final by 1.962 seconds.
Callum Scotson won his second AYOF gold medal after attacking with five laps left in a crashed-marred men’s U19 7.5 km scratch race.
Scotson, from South Australia, opened up gap of half a lap with four laps left before rolling across the line ahead of Callum Saunders from New Zealand and NSW’s Brad Heffernan.
The 16-year-old had earlier won a gold as part of the men’s team pursuit and a silver in the omnium.
Scotson said his performances at the festival were unexpected.
“I was hoping maybe to do well in the team pursuit, but yeah my form has just come up a lot, and yeah I went well,” he said.
He said the two falls in the last few laps did not put him off his race.
Eight riders were lost in two crashes, one on the finishing strait and the other near the final bend, within the last two laps of 30.
“I heard them, but you just have to keep going, not let it faze you,” Scotson said.
Josie Talbot (NSW) won her third gold AYOF medal after triumphing in the women’s U19 omnium.
The 16-year-old led from the first round to the sixth and final round for an overall score of 14 points, with Kelsey Robson second on a countback from her West Australian teammate Elissa Wundersitz both on 18 points.
Talbot led by one point heading into the final round, and ensured her gold after recording the fastest time, 37.290 seconds, for the 500 metres time trial.
“It worried me a little bit, but I knew I just had to give it my all in the 500 and it turned out for the best,” she said.
Robson had earlier set an AYOF best time for the women’s 2000 metres individual pursuit with her 2 minutes 26.594 seconds.
The dual junior world champion lowered the previous AYOF mark by 0.192 seconds set by Michaela Anderson (AUS) in 2009.
New Zealand’s Jeremy Presbury won his second AYOF gold medal after defeating South Australia’s Jai Angusthasawit two-zero in the men’s U19 sprint final.
Presbury outsmarted Angusthasawit, with the South Australian rider left with too much ground to recover in both races.
Presbury said it was “awesome” to follow his earlier success in the keirin on Friday.
“It’s always a special feeling to take away a gold in any race but to do it in an event like this it’s you know absolutely incredible,” he said.
Patrick Constable defeated his South Australian teammate Alex Radzikiewicz two-one in the bronze medal race.
Australian riders will use their performances at the festival to assess their form ahead of the 2013 Subaru Cycling Australia Track National Championships to be held from January 30 to February 2 at Dunc Gray velodrome.
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