Laura Trott (England) and Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) were two surprise exits during the morning session on the second day of track racing at the Commonwealth Games.
Trott came into the women’s 3000 metre individual pursuit with the ambition of adding yet another medal to her ever growing medal collection. Initially it looked good, as she comfortably beat Ciara Horne (Wales) and moved into second place behind Australia’s Annette Edmondson.
However, it wasn’t to be for the double Olympic champion. Trott could only sit and wait as she saw her time slip further down the leader board. She eventually settled into sixth place, almost two seconds off the pace she needed to contest the medals. He compatriot and fellow Olympic gold medallist Dani King befell the same fate and finished eighth.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the England pursuitists, as Joanna Rowsell stormed around the track to smash the Commonwealth Games record by more than a second. She will face off against Edmondson for the Gold in the evening session. Trott still has the points and scratch race on the track before helping Lizzie Armitstead in the road race a week on Sunday.
Glaetzer out early
After setting a Games record of 9.779 seconds in qualifying on Thursday morning, Matthew Glaetzer went into Friday as the hot favourite to take home the gold in the individual sprint. The 21-year-old is competing in his first Commonwealth Games and is a huge talent in the world of sprinting. The Australian kicked off his campaign with bronze in the team sprint.
Glaetzer was pitted against Jason Kenny (England) in the quarter finals of the individual event and was expected to have the upper hand on his rival. Kenny had not begun well they day before, being forced to go through the repechages to make it into the quarter finals. Kenny found his stride again and defeated Glaetzer in two straight fights. The English rider caught Glaetzer out with an early attack in the first round.
Not to be outdone, Glaetzer took it from the front in the second race, but Kenny rounded him in the final bend and pipped him on the line. Kenny will race another Australian Peter Lewis in the semi finals while Glaetzer will have to wait until Sunday’s Kerin for another shot at a medal.
The Friendly Games?
Also in action in the morning was the Malaysian athlete and two times runner-up at the world championships, Azizulhasni Awang. However, he nearly didn’t make it to the track after he got in trouble for wearing gloves with the Save Gaza written on them.
"It’s inappropriate for any form of protest in a Games venue; we respect everyone’s right to protest," Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper told AFP. "He has had a strong reprimand from his team management and he has apologized. In apologizing profusely he now knows any repetition will see a removal of his accreditation."
The 26-year-old responded to the warning on his Facebook page, stating that his intention was not to protest. "I feel sorry to the people who misinterpret my message. There’s no such thing with political protest… It’s from the bottom of my heart to express humanitarian. Since when expressing humanitarian considered as political?
"Anyway, I apologize to those who think I’m doing wrong."
Awang was defeated by New Zealand’s Sam Webster in two rounds in the quarter finals of the individual sprint.