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Banner day for Australia at track worlds

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Laughter and tears for Meares on the podium

Laughter and tears for Meares on the podium (Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Freiberg celebrates with the Australian flag

Freiberg celebrates with the Australian flag (Image credit: Gerry McManus)

The 2011 UCI Track Cycling World Championships have belonged to the nation of Australia, but no more so than on day four when the country took home three gold medals and one silver in the course of the afternoon.

When Shane Perkins took out the men's keirin final in a clear victory over Olympic champion Chris Hoy, it was sweet revenge for the country's male sprinters who had been shut out in the team and individual sprints.

Then the day got even better for the Aussies when Anna Meares claimed gold in the women's individual sprint in an emotional victory over Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania).

Before the night was over, the team would add another gold in the men's omnium when Michael Freiberg followed up his surge into the rankings lead in the scratch race with a solid kilometre time trial, holding a five-point buffer to top New Zealand's Shane Archbold.

"I got so excited when Anna won, she's been trying to get this for so long and she's now got the form and she just destroyed it tonight," said Freiberg, "I got really excited watching Shane. They're two of the best athletes in the world, and to see them from my home country manage to come away with the world title it pushed me even further - I'm so happy to be able to finish it off."

Finally, Katherine Bates, who made her comeback from a debilitating hip injury over the past year, claimed silver to Dutch rider Marianne Vos in the women's scratch race.

"It's funny - there are two factors: I watched the Aussies do a hat trick and I tell you what, I've been at a lot of world titles and it's pretty bloody exciting. Everybody said to me, right-o, it's your turn now. In my mind, I thought it was possible.

"I've waited four years to stand on a podium again, and this is fantastic. I'll definitely walk away with a positive feeling and fresh motivation."

The results built upon gold medals already enjoyed by the men's team pursuiters, the women's team sprinters and Jack Bobridge in the men's individual pursuit as well as Cameron Meyer's silver in the men's points race and Michael Hepburn's bronze in the individual pursuit.

With one day of racing remaining, Australia leads the gold medal tally with six, while France and Belarus each have two. In total, Australia and Great Britain are tied with nine each - Great Britain has one gold in the women's team pursuit, three silver and five bronze.