The New Zealand track cycling squad, fresh from their medal achievements on the opening day of Commonwealth Games, produced more fireworks in the first session at the velodrome today.
Dylan Kennett had tongues wagging when he set a Commonwealth Games record of 4min 13.44s in the individual pursuit. Kennett’s record stood for just 10 minutes before it was reduced by Scotsman John Archibald and then again by Englishman Charlie Tanfield to 4 min 11.455s.
Kennett rides off against Australian Jordan Kerby, the 2017 world champion, for the bronze medal.
Kennett’s time was a New Zealand record, bettering that of Jesse Sergent, a mark that has stood since 2010. Interestingly Sergent, currently in a coaching stint with Cycling New Zealand, was calling Kennett’s times today.
Kennett rode a huge gear – bigger than anyone else in the race. Other New Zealanders in the individual pursuit were Jared Gray, who finished 12th and Nick Kergozou, who was 13th.
In another excellent ride, Kirstie James became just the third New Zealand woman to go under 3min 30s for the 3000m individual pursuit. She joined exalted company, sharing the honour with world champions Sarah Ulmer and Alison Shanks.
Despite her speedy performance, James eventually finished fifth fastest and missed out on riding for the bronze. Scotswoman Katie Archibald was the fastest qualifier with a Games record of 3min 24.119s.
New Zealanders Ellesse Andrews (3min 33.707s for sixth) and Bryony Botha (3min 35.394s for ninth) finished behind James.
Natasha Hansen achieved a first for a New Zealand female when she qualified for the sprint semi-finals. Hansen will face Canadian Laurianne Genest in the race for the bronze.
There were two other New Zealanders in the sprint. Liv Podmore was fifth and Emma Cumming eighth.Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Dylan Kennett Natasha Hansen Liv Podmore Emma Cumming Ellesse Andrews Bryony Botha Jared Gray Nick Kergozou De La Boessiere Cycling - Track