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Commonwealth Games Day 1 wrap up

Ben Kersten rejoices his gold medal

Ben Kersten rejoices his gold medal (Image credit: Shane Goss)

Sprinters spring surprises on Aust coach

By Gerard Knapp in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

For the host nation, Australia was expected to once again dominate at the velodrome, as it had done in the previous Commonwealth Games held in Manchester in 2002. But the first night of action didn't start out as expected, as the two Australian representatives in the men's 4km individual pursuit – Mark Jamieson and Peter Dawson - faired somewhat less than expected.

Considering they were following in the wheeltracks of Brad McGee, the reigning Commonwealth champion (2002, 1998, 1994) who wanted to compete but was not released by his French ProTour team Française de Jeux, there was some pressure on the younger riders.

The disappointment came with the performance of Jamieson, a former junior world champion in the individual pursuit, who put in a time that was some eight seconds off his best. "If I could put it down to one thing, I think it was the nervousness and excitement that overcame him," said Australia's head cycling coach, Shayne Bannan.

"He certainly didn't perform to expectations. We were thinking that qualifying say in fourth or fifth was realistic, but for them to come in at seventh and tenth (fastest times) wasn't what we expected.

"I think both of them went out a bit too hard, but the English and New Zealand riders are genuinely world-class, so we knew it was going to be a tough event."

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