Published Friday 25 July 2014

The crack men’s sprint cyclists have won New Zealand's first gold medal of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The men’s team blitzed their English rivals in the final to the delight of the many New Zealanders in the crowd at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. New Zealand flags dotted the scene and there was plenty of cheering and encouragement.

The New Zealanders – Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins – won the world team sprint title in Colombia earlier this year and the ride in Glasgow emphasised their superiority in this most explosive of events.

In the final the New Zealanders were away quicker and had opened up a half-second lead by the end of the second of the three laps.

Their time of 43.181 (average speed 62.527kmh) was a Commonwealth Games record. The English were timed at 43.709s. In their qualifying ride, the New Zealanders clocked 43.254s, so their class was evident throughout the event.

New Zealand also has sprint riders in the quarter-finals of the individual event, to be held tomorrow.