Ten time world champion and dual Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares added another medal to her collection as she won the 500m time trial on a busy day at the Oceania track championships. Australia won three gold medals on day one with Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton victorious in the women's team sprint and Rohan Wight who added a third gold by winning the under 19 individual pursuit.
Meares's winning time of 33.500 seconds was less than half a second off her own world record. She beat home New Zealand's Katie Schofield who took silver."I was really pleased with that. It's the first time I have ridden that since the worlds in 2012. Tonight I was focusing on the processes for a strong 500, and to ride 33.500 in not perhaps ideal conditions, I am really pleased with," said Meares.
Meares is eying off another Olympics in 2016 and gold in Invercargill is the first step to further success.
"It's a long road but definitely tonight was a step forward. I am hoping that with each race I will get a little bit better. I have a long time to work towards those goals. I was the first person to ride 33 seconds and I want to be the first woman to ride 32."
In the women's team sprint London Olympic team sprint bronze medallists McCulloch and Morton won by one tenth of a second in a time of 34.210 seconds.New Zealand's Katie Schofield and Stephanie McKenzie were second and rounding out the podium was another Australian pair in Catherine Culvenor and Taylah Jennings.
In the men's team sprint Matt Archibald, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins became the first New Zealand team to go under the 44 second barrier at home when they clocked 43.765 seconds in qualifying.
They were challenged in the final by the Australian trio of Olympians Dan Ellis, Shane Perkins and Matthew Glaetzer but held them off as their time of 43.885 seconds was just over four one-hundredths ahead of the Australians. Rounding out the podium was another Australian trio of Nathan Hart, Mitchell Bullen and Andrew Taylor who failed to go 44 seconds
New Zealand added the Women's team pursuit medal to its collection with Lauren Ellis, Jaime Nielsen, Rushlee Buchanan and newcomer Georgia Williams riding a 4:29.000 to beat off the strong challenge from the Australian team of Annette Edmondson, Georgia Baker, Elissa Wundersitz and Kelsey Robson.
New Zealand also won the men's team pursuit as the quartet of Dylan Kennett, Pieter Bulling, Marc Ryan and Aaron Gate dipped under the magical four minute barrier with a time of 3:59.385. Their time proved too fast for the Australian combination of Miles Scotson, Josh Harrison, Tirian McManus and Scott Sunderland who couldn't get under the four minute mark.
New Zealand's Simon Van Velthooven produced a brilliant performance in the men's kilometer time trial. His time of 1:00.765 broke his own national record by 0.2 seconds in a gold medal ride. Australian Commonwealth Games champion Scott Sunderland claimed silver and Luke Davison took home the bronze.
In the other event of the opening day, Elissa Wundersitz won silver in the women's 10km scratch race.
The Oceania Championships at Invercargill's SIT Zero Fees Velodrome will continue till 22 November.
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