New Zealand’s sprint cyclists certainly made their presence when the Commonwealth Games opened at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome today.
Sam Webster broke the Commonwealth Games record in recording 9.933s, which set the New Zealand team buzzing.
Then out stepped Eddie Dawkins, a silver medallist in the event in Delhi in 2010, and he broke Webster’s record with 9.818s.
Dawkins’ record did not stand long, however, because Australian Matthew Glaetzer recorded a sizzling 9.779s.
The third New Zealander, Matthew Archibald was fifth fastest of the 12 qualifiers with 10.055s.
Into the first round of the explosive event, all three New Zealanders progressed impressively.
Dawkins beat the Olympic champion, Englishman Jason Kenny, in 10.606s, Webster was too good for Scot Callum Skinner in 10.308s and Archibald beat Welshman Lewis Oliva in 10.621s.
Glaetzer continued his sizzling form and won his first round match in 10.252s, the fastest of the day.
The sprint medals will be decided tomorrow.
Sprint coach Anthony Peden was understandably delighted with his riders.
“The boys prepared well. They came here in great form and they produced it out there,” he said.
The schedule for the sprinters is unusually rigorous, with the teams’ sprint crammed in before the sprint ride-offs.
“It’s tough, but they just have to go out there and do it. They’re definitely good enough.” In the men’s team pursuit qualifying, the strong New Zealand team of Dylan Kennett, Piet Bulling, Marc Ryan and Shane Archbold were extremely disappointed to be placed only third, which means they will ride off against Canada for the bronze medal.
The two quickest teams were Australia, 3min 57.939s, and England, 3min 59.249s. New Zealand recorded 4min 00.501s.
Coach Dayle Cheatley said: “We were right there at the 3000 metres, but fell apart after that. We came here aiming to be in the ride-off for the gold, so it is disappointing.”