Australia has opened its medal tally at the 2007 Track Cycling World Championships with a bronze medal in the women's teams sprint on day one of the event. Queensland's Anna Meares, 23, and West Australian Kristine Bayley, 23, combined to post a time of 33.810sec, almost a second faster than their French rivals. Great Britain won the gold in 33.631 with silver going to the Netherlands in 33.974.
"You can't be too disappointed with a World Championships bronze medal, and yes - we could have gone into final and picked up silver. But the fact of the matter is we didn't and we raced really well for the bronze medal so I'm really happy with how we went," said Meares, noting their time was faster than that of the Netherlands who rode against Great Britain for the gold medal.
Meanwhile, Sydney's Ben Kersten, 25, withdrew from the omnium competition after needing an intravenous drip to treat dehydration after this morning's first three races of the five race event. The reigning Australian Omnium Champion had spent the previous 48 hours in bed battling gastroenteritis and despite his best efforts in the morning's racing was too sick to continue in the evening of the first day.
Illness also dealt a blow to Australia's hopes in the men's 4km individual pursuit with the reigning Australian Champion, Phil Thuaux, unable to start. The 27 year old was struck down with gastroenteritis during the team's final training session on Wednesday night and did not recover in time for Thursday morning's qualifying round. Australia's other two starters, Mark Jamieson and Zakkari Dempster, finished eighth and 16th respectively.