The New Zealand cycling team is assured of three more medals, including a gold, and is in the hunt for a fourth on the second night of finals at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London.

Following the stunning four-medal performance on the opening night, New Zealand teammates Aaron Gate and Tom Sexton will ride off for the gold medal in the 4000m individual pursuit final.

Sexton set a personal best and broke the Commonwealth Games record in his qualifying heat in 4min 08.689s before Gate topped that to be top qualifier in 4min 07.129s, which bettered his own national record.

Earlier Bryony Botha smashed the Commonwealth Games record in her 3000m individual pursuit qualifying effort, clocking 3min 19.836s, which was more than four seconds under the record set at the last Games, on the Gold Coast. Her time was only 0.2 seconds off her New Zealand record, which is impressive given the sluggish nature of the velodrome at Lee Valley.

She will face Australian Maeve Plouffe in the final.

Tokyo Olympics keirin silver medallist Ellesse Andrews kept her hopes alive in the individual sprint, qualifying for the semi-finals. All three New Zealand female sprinters qualified in the women’s sprint competition.

Andrews leading the way sixth fastest in 10.869s, which was only 0.3 slower than her national record, set at the Tokyo Olympics on the super-slick Izu Velodrome.

Olivia King and Rebecca Petch were 14th and 16th fastest respectively.

Petch, in her first international sprint competition, could not match top qualifier and world record-holder Kelsey Mitchell of Canada and King lost to another Canadian, the well-performed Lauriane Genest. Andrews was pushed but showed her long-range sprinting skills to overcome Australian Breanna Hargrave.

That meant Andrews drew Genest, who finished with the bronze medal behind Andrews’ silver in the keirin final at Tokyo. The Canadian got the drop in the first of their best-of-three quarter-final, but Andrews showed her sprinting ability to win the next two races to progress.


Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
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