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ere has been a growing belief New
Zealand s track cycling sprinters were on the
verge of something special and yesterday they
delivered when they won the team sprint at the
world championships in Colombia.
e trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster
and Eddie Dawkins beat a powerful German
combination, the defending world champions,
in the gold-medal ride after earlier setting
the fastest time in qualifying. Not only that,
they also broke 43 seconds for the first time,
stopping the clock at a slick 42.840 seconds.
It rounded out a great day for the New
Zealand riders, with Dylan Kennett, Pieter
Bulling, Aaron Gate and Marc Ryan earlier
claiming bronze in the men s team pursuit.
Bike NZ unearthed a talented group of
young sprinters about five years ago and they
have seen a steady progression. Not only did
Simon van Velthooven claim bronze in the
keirin at the London Olympics but the team
sprinters have also gone from bronze (2012)
to silver (2013) and now gold at the world
ey are still young, with the trio having an
average age of 23, and yesterday s result will
have made their rivals sit up and take notice
two years out from the Rio Olympics. ey are
also under a new coach, with Anthony Peden
taking over from Justin Grace who has joined
New Zealand trailed Germany narrowly
after the second of three laps before Dawkins
powered home against four-time world
champion Maximilian Levy in a personal best
time of 12.976 seconds to snatch the gold from
Germany by 0.045 seconds.
"Eddie Dawkins brought it home for us,"
Webster said, who rode the lead wheel for the
second lap. "He was the one who really pulled
the cat out of the bag. Power to the big fella.
He was the one that won the race for us."
Webster was being a little disingenuous.
Mitchell is acknowledged as one of the best
starters in sprinting and Webster then delivered
Dawkins perfectly for his flying lap.
"It s a dream come true," Mitchell said. "For
me, it s been a while coming. I was a junior
world champion back in 2009 and been striving
for this for a long time now. To get up there on
top podium with the boys was incredible.
"Eddie brought it home the best I have ever
seen him with a PB (personal best) on the last
lap. To watch him do that was something I will
It was also a special day for the team
pursuiters. Kennett, Bulling, Gate and Ryan are
a new combination but finished ahead of some
strong teams including Great Britain, Germany
ey were fourth fastest in qualifying but
comfortably beat Russia for the bronze. eir
time of 3:58.989 was the second fastest of the
day, behind only Australia (3:57.907) who beat
Denmark in the gold-medal ride-off.
" e boys are feeling pretty bloody good,"
Bulling said. " is is my first elite world
championships, so to get a medal is great. We
knew we could do it. We raced to a plan but,
equally, we knew we had to really fight for it.
at medal did not come easy."
Today Marc Ryan will have a chance to add
to the bronze medal he won in yesterday s team
pursuit when he takes on Ireland s Ryan Mullen
in this evening s ride-off for third and fourth in
the individual pursuit at the track cycling world
championships in Cali, Colombia.
e 31-year-old s time of 4:21.865 was the
third fastest in qualifying and more than half a
second faster than Mullen. Fellow Kiwi Shane
Archbold (4:23.709) set the eighth-fastest time
of the 20 riders.
Australia s Alex Edmondson will take on
Switzerland s Stefan Kueng in the gold medal
Meanwhile Olympic bronze medalist Simon
van Velthooven advanced to the second round
of the kierin after winning his opening round
race. e medals will be decided later today.
Fellow New Zealander Eddie Dawkins, who
became a world champion yesterday with the
sprint team, was brought back down to earth
after failing to advance to the second round.
Dawkins finished last in his first round ride
after being relegated for forcing an opponent to
move up the track. He then failed to advance in
the first round recharge race with another last
Friday, February 28, 2014
PICTURE: Getty Images
New Zealand cyclists Eddie Dawkins, Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell celebrate victory in
the men s team sprint yesterday at the track cycling world championships in Colombia.
Millbrook Resort was meant to be the
Given not many players had seen the
redesigned course near Arrowtown, most
golfers at the New Zealand Open were
meant to find it tough during their round
there. e revamped New Zealand Open
sees players tackle one round at Millbrook
and one round at e Hills during the first
two days before the final two rounds take
place at e Hills this weekend.
Coming in to the event, most players
did not seem to think it mattered whether
you played Millbrook or e Hills first
but eight of the top nine players after the
first round opened their tournament at
ere was a four-way tie at the top of
the leaderboard after the first round as
Australians Scott Strange, Terry Pilkadaris,
Jake Stirling and Andrew Dodt all shot a
six-under 66 at Millbrook.
Five players, including New Zealand s
Mark Brown, were one stroke back at five-
under and only Andrew Martin opened his
tournament at e Hills.
e soft greens proved tricky for some
at Millbrook and those who begun their
rounds early in the day were forced to
negotiate bitterly cold weather despite it
still being February. Strange, who enjoyed a
bogey-free opening round, thought the pin
placements at Millbrook helped players fly
up the leaderboard.
" ere are a few par-fives that guys
will get home on, a few short par-fours,"
Strange said. " e back nine is a bit
different but they are playing a few holes
up which makes them shorter. It definitely
feels like you can score there, the greens are
a bit flatter." With showers forecast today,
Strange said producing a good score on the
first day could prove vital.
"I think it s pretty crucial to have a good
score on the board. If its gets cold and wet,
its forecast not to be nice, you might have a
few shots to play with," he said.
Brown, who was the best of the New
Zealanders after day one, also enjoyed a
bogey-free start to the tournament and his
extra study of Millbrook earlier this week
"I probably spent more time on that
course because I haven t played it much," he
said. "But I thought we get one round there,
only one, and if you took the view that oh
its not that important because you ve only
got one , it just felt it could be the wrong
way to go because it could be the most
important one and hopefully that s the case
and it got me off to a good start."
Apart from Brown, Dominic Barson,
Mathew Perry and Richard Lee were the
next best New Zealanders in the field at
four-under in a share of 10th place, among
Southland s Vaughan McCall was the
leading amateur after the opening round
as he carded a three-under 69 at Millbrook
and was in a tie for 17th with fellow New
Zealanders David Klein and Nick Gillespie.
New Zealander Michael Hendry, the
pre-tournament favourite, was one of the
players who could not get the better of
Millbrook as he finished with an even-
par 72 to be in a share of 61st, alongside
playing partner and six-time PGA Tour
winner Rocco Mediate. --- APNZ
PICTURE: Christine Linnell
Visitors battle for Coast bowls title
Beaten finalist Verna Veint (Beckenham) delivers a bowl in the last game of the 68th West Coast Women s Open Fours bowls
tournament, at Karoro yesterday. Veint was a member of the D Richards rink, which also comprised H Scott and M Bruhns.
ey led for most of the final but Westport skip Caroline Wadsworth s composite four --- which included B omason, M
Henley and R Bellis --- scored heavilly on two late ends to gain a lead which they never relinquished. Report, more photos
NZ GOLF OPEN
Low scoring at Millbrook dominates NZ Open
New Zealand trio
on top of the world
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