Track cycling trio Matt Crampton, Jason Queally and Jamie Staff won a Commonwealth silver medal for England in the men's t eam sprint on the last evening of track racing in Melbourne, losing the final to Scotland by an agonising 0.027 seconds. Emma Davies Jones meanwhile completed her remarkable recovery from a hit and run accident five months ago to win a bronze medal in the women’s individual 3k pursuit, giving England a total of nine medals in the velodrome (three gold, four silver and two bronze).
England’s team sprinters crossed the line at the end of the three laps of their final in 44.309 with Scotland less than a breath ahead in 44.282. England have now taken silver at this event at three Commonwealth Games in a row.
Queally picked up his second silver of the Games, having narrowly missed gold twice in Melbourne by hundredths of a second. He also lost the 1k time trial on Thursday, March 17, by less three hundredths. Queally has now won the same two silver medals at the last three Games, and despite winning six Commonwealth medals in his career, has still not won a gold.
Hayles was magnanimous in defeat against Scotland. "It was disappointing not to get gold," he said. "We were so close but we have to be happy though - we were beaten by a better team on the day." The trio were comfortable winners of their qualification ride against Canada earlier in the evening, clocking 44.464 to set up their medal bout against Scotland. The Scots had ridden superbly against Malaysia to reach the final.
Davies Jones, who finished just outside the medals four years ago in Manchester, beat Alison Shanks of New Zealand in the individual pursuit to go one better this time. "I’m so excited, it feels like I have won a gold medal," said the thrilled Davies Jones afterwards. The cyclist from Cheshire suffered a serious back injury in September 2005 after being knocked off her bike while cycling to training in Manchester. "I always wanted to be here and my coach had faith in me after my accident," she said. "Previously, I just wanted to go to sleep."
Davies Jones had beaten Shanks easily in the qualifying round, recording 3:38.791, the third fastest of the round, to set up their medal match. But she had a tougher battle to secure the bronze: Starting slowly, she was 0.4 seconds down at half way. Gradually, Davies closed the gap, however, reducing the lead to 0.3 at 2k as she began to find her rhythm. By 2500m she had edged ahead by 0.2 seconds and in the last two laps she powered home as the Kiwi tired, winning in 3:40.057.
"It was tight, very tight," she said. "I really pulled it out of the bag. This means the world to me. I am in shock. A few weeks ago I did a trial and was five seconds slower.
"I did have a plan, I promised my coach I would not get involved in a fight," she added. "And then I heard my Dad, who has a very distinctive voice, so I gritted my teeth and stuck to my plan. My coach has great faith in me and for the last two laps I did everything for those who have faith in me."
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