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New Zealand's Andrews receives fine instead of medal at Commonwealth Games

IZU JAPAN AUGUST 07 Ellesse Andrews of Team New Zealand competes during the Womens sprint round of 8 finals heat 2 of the track cycling on day filthen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome on August 07 2021 in Izu Shizuoka Japan Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images
Ellesse Andrews of Team New Zealand competes during the Women's sprint at the Tokyo Olympic Games (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

New Zealander Ellesse Andrews left the Commonwealth Games with a haul of gold medals in her possession, but left behind a silver, 200 CHF and valuable UCI points. 

The track sprinter was penalised for not joining her teammates on the podium for the medal ceremony of the women’s team pursuit on Saturday at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London.

Andrews was a late replacement in the team pursuit and was focusing on the sprint events. With the team pursuit requiring only three riders cross the line, Andrews started the rides but soon eased up, leaving Michaela Drummond, Emily Shearman and Bryony Botha to duel against Australia. 

Immediately following the team pursuit finals, Wollaston opted to prepare for the gold medal race in the team sprint, which was less than an hour later, rather than participate in the medal ceremony. 

Officials at the event subsequently fined her 200 CHF [NZ$334] , did not provide her a silver medal and also deducted UCI points. She was not too concerned about missing out on a silver medal. 

"I'm really glad I could help them continue their race... I'm really really glad that they were able to get off the line," Andrews told New Zealand’s 1News.

"The three girls are the ones that did the work so I'm really proud they were able to get up there and get their silver medal."

Andrews had replaced Ally Wollaston, who injured her wrist in a crash on stage 2 at the Tour de France Femmes while competing with her AG Insurance-NXTG Team. Wollaston had planned to pull out of the French stage race after stage 3 to represent New Zealand on the track in London, but the injury prevented her from following through.

Andrews did enter into the record books at the Commonwealth Games with Aaron Gate, as each won a trio of gold medals, a national record in a single Commonwealth Games. Andrews won the women’s Keirin, sprint and team sprint while Gate claimed top prizes in the men’s points race, individual pursuit and team pursuit. 

The only other time a New Zealand track cyclist had won gold medals at one Commonwealth Games was Gary Anderson in 1990.

Silver is still one of Andrews’ favourite colours, having finished second in the women’s Keirin at the Tokyo Olympic Games for New Zealand. 

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Jackie Tyson
Jackie Tyson

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).