The brilliant New Zealand track cycling squad was at it again at the velodrome tonight – another three Commonwealth Games medals, bringing their haul in four days to 12.
All three medals tonight were special in their own way.
Eddie Dawkins finished second to world champion Matthew Glaetzer of Australia in the 1000m time trial.
Glaetzer, a champion if ever there was one, was timed at 59.340s and Dawkins was second with 59.928s. That was a significant milestone for Dawkins – he became the first New Zealander to break one minute in the 1000m time trial at sea level, and only the fourth from anywhere in the world to do so. It was half a second better than the previous best by a New Zealand, Zac Williams, who finished fourth tonight in 1min 01.132s.
The other New Zealander in the field was Dylan Kennett, who was seventh in 1min 01.546s.
Dawkins has won three Commonwealth Games medals over the past four days and was absolutely delighted to have won a silver in the 1000m time trial because it’s not really an event he has focused on much in recent years.
“I'm super stoked about it [going sub-60]. It’s a pretty exclusive club. There are only four of us who have gone under it at sea level. There is a slew that have gone under it at altitude. With the tracks the way they are, it's a dime a dozen.
“To do it at sea level has been a goal of mine. Even though I haven't trained for it and it wasn’t the Olympics, it was good to measure where I am against the rest of the world.”
Sprint cyclist Natasha Hansen has been a revelation. But for a brilliant effort by young team-mate Emma Cumming yesterday in the 500m time trial, Hansen would actually have won four medals at these Commonwealth Games. Today she picked up a bronze medal in the keirin.
She finished behind Australians Stephanie Morton, who took the gold, and Kaarle McCulloch, the silver medallist. Hansen proved she was in the Australians’ class but just couldn't find the power to get past them. McCulloch finished 0.079s behind Morton and Hansen was 0.133s behind the winner. Another New Zealander, Liv Podmore. finished sixth,1.014s behind Morton.
The third medallist today was Campbell Stewart, who won silver in the gruelling 40km points race. The gold went to a Scot, Mark Stewart, and the big surprise was that double world champion Cameron Meyer of Australia finished out of the medals, after riding very aggressively through the first half of the race.
Campbell Stewart finished on 69 points and won four of the 10 sprints. If he’d won the final double-points sprint he’d have claimed gold, but he didn’t have much left by then, and Mark Stewart won the title with 81 points. The New Zealander, a silver medallist the previous day, paid tribute afterwards to his team-mates Regan Gough and Tom Sexton.
“They were brilliant. They rode for me and did a great job. We’re all young – Tom and I are 19 and Regan is 21, so there’s time for us to build our strength. It’s pretty exciting.”Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Emma Cumming Tom Sexton Campbell Stewart Liv Podmore Dylan Kennett Regan Gough Zac Williams Natasha Hansen Eddie Dawkins Cycling - Track