Australia completed a clean sweep on the first day of the track racing at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, taking all three gold medals on offer in the men's 4,000m individual pursuit, the women's 500m time trial and the men's 1,000m time trial - with all three events producing world class performances and times that suggest the new Delhi track is fast.
Jack Bobridge lived up to the tag of favourite in the individual pursuit and qualified fastest with a stunning 4:14.845 ride - the first of three Commonwealth Games records set on day one, this one slicing a second-and-a-half from Brad McGee's 2002 mark.
That set up a final featuring two promising young cyclists, with 22-year-old Jesse Sergent of New Zealand facing Bobridge in the back straight.
And what followed was as thrilling as some of the best pursuit finals, with the 21-year-old Bobridge pushed all the way by Sergent. On the line Bobridge just got it, by less than half a second, stopping the clock at 4.17.495 to Sergent's 4.17.893.
"I'm only 21 but I've done three world titles and I have done a lot of world-class times, and I feel a little bit of pressure to perform," said Bobridge. "To come out here and perform and actually live up to it gives us real motivation for the team pursuit.
"To get the record off McGee was fantastic," added Bobridge. "McGee showed his class every year he rode in the pursuit, and any record you break is fantastic."
Another youngster, 19-year-old Michael Hepburn (Australia), took the bronze medal, catching Sam Bewley (New Zealand) in the ride-off.
Anna Meares won the women's 500 metre time trial with a time of 33.758 - a Commonwealth Games record, beating her own mark from 2006. She beat fellow Australian Kaarle Mcculloch, who set a time of 34.780, and Becky James of Wales, who won her first senior medal at a major championships with a time of 35.236.
"I have improved a lot since Melbourne four years ago," said Meares. "It's a great feeling to be able to walk away with a Commonwealth Games gold medal. It's a result of a lot of hard work, not only from myself, but a team of people really that help gut us on the track."
Scott Sunderland gave Australia its third gold in the men's kilometre time trial, with a time of 1:01.411 - another Commonwealth Games record. Malaysia's Mohd Rizal Tisin took the silver and Dawkins Edward James of New Zealand took the bronze with a time of 1:02.777.
Dean Sean Edwards (South Africa) and Mark Peter Christian (Isle of Man) won their respective qualifying heats for the men's points race.
The top 12 finishers of each qualifying heat will compete for the gold medal in the points race final on Wednesday.
|1||Jack Bobridge (Australia)||0:04:14.845|
|2||Jesse Sergent (New Zealand)||0:04:16.751|
|3||Michael Hepburn (Australia)||0:04:19.598|
|4||Sam Bewley (New Zealand)||0:04:19.612|
|5||Peter David Latham (New Zealand)||0:04:25.534|
|6||Martyn Irvine (Northern Ireland)||0:04:28.803|
|7||Sam Harrison (Wales)||0:04:33.341|
|8||George Atkins (England)||0:04:34.490|
|9||Mark Peter Christian (Isle of Man)||0:04:35.052|
|10||Erick Rowsell (England)||0:04:39.710|
|11||Mohammad Akmal Amrun (Malaysia)||0:04:41.754|
|13||Dayala Ram Saran (India)||0:05:01.972|
|14||Vinod Malik (India)||0:05:02.085|
|1||Jack Bobridge (Australia)||0:04:17.495|
|2||Jesse Sergent (New Zealand)||0:04:17.893|
|3||Michael Hepburn (Australia)|
|4||Sam Bewley (New Zealand)||Caught|
|1||Anna Meares (Australia)||0:00:33.758|
|2||Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)||0:00:34.780|
|3||Becky James (Wales)||0:00:35.236|
|4||Monique Sullivan (Canada)||0:00:36.238|
|5||Jenny Davis (Scotland)||0:00:36.416|
|6||Alison Shanks (New Zealand)||0:00:36.565|
|7||Anna Blyth (England)||0:00:36.807|
|8||Charline Joiner (Scotland)||0:00:37.539|
|9||Wendy Houvenaghel (Northern Ireland)||0:00:38.289|
|10||Mahitha Mohan (India)||0:00:38.788|
|11||Ch. Rameshwori Devi (India)||0:00:38.913|
|12||Heather Wilson (Northern Ireland)||0:00:40.189|
|13||Rejani Vijaya Kumari (India)||0:00:40.439|
|1||Scott Sunderland (Australia)||0:01:01.411|
|2||Mohd Rizal Tisin (Malaysia)||0:01:02.768|
|3||Edward James Dawkins (New Zealand)||0:01:02.777|
|4||Myron Simpson (New Zealand)||0:01:03.449|
|5||Travis Smith (Canada)||0:01:03.656|
|6||Bernard Pierre Esterhuizen (South Africa)||0:01:04.421|
|7||Marc Ryan (New Zealand)||0:01:04.521|
|8||Callum Skinner (Scotland)||0:01:05.095|
|9||Singh O. Bikram(India)||0:01:07.911|
|10||Philip Lavery (Northern Ireland)||0:01:08.985|
|11||Rakesh Kumar (India)||0:01:09.229|
|12||Prince Hylem (India)||0:01:09.977|
|13||Adam Armstrong (Northern Ireland)||0:01:11.659|
|1||Dean Sean Edwards (South Africa)||11||pts|
|2||Cameron Meyer (Australia)||10|
|3||Shane William Archbold (New Zealand)||7|
|4||Jon Mould (Wales)||7|
|5||Christopher Whorrall (Isle of Man)||6|
|6||Philip Lavery (Northern Ireland)||5|
|7||Luke Rowe (Wales)||4|
|8||Darren David Matthews (Barbados)||3|
|9||James McCallum (Scotland)||3|
|10||David Lines (Scotland)||2|
|11||Erick Rowsell (England)||1|
|12||Christoffel Van Heerden (South Africa)|
|13||Amir Mustafa Rusli (Malaysia)||-17|
|14||Rajender Bishnoi (India)||-17|
|15||Adam Armstrong (Northern Ireland)||-19|
|DNF||Oneil Samuels (Jamaica)|
|DNF||Emile Magellan Abraham (Trinidad and Tobago)|
|1||Mark Peter Christian (Isle of Man)||27||pts|
|2||Zach Bell (Canada)||27|
|3||Peter David Latham (New Zealand)||25|
|4||Muhamad Adiq Othman (Malaysia)||24|
|5||Sam Harrison (Wales)||8|
|6||Martyn Irvine (Northern Ireland)||8|
|7||Simon Yates (England)||6|
|8||Aaron Gate (New Zealand)||6|
|9||George Atkins (England)||5|
|10||Luke Durbridge (Australia)||5|
|11||Mohd Harrif Salleh (Malaysia)||4|
|12||Evan Oliphant (Scotland)||1|
|13||Atul Kumar (India)|
|DNF||Geron Oliver Williams (Guyana)|
|DNF||Amandeep Singh (India)|
|DNF||Marloe Rodman (Jamaica)|
|DNF||Jay Robert Thomson (South Africa)|
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Richard Moore is a freelance journalist and author. His first book, In Search of Robert Millar (HarperSport), won Best Biography at the 2008 British Sports Book Awards. His second book, Heroes, Villains & Velodromes (HarperSport), was long-listed for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year.
He writes on sport, specialising in cycling, and is a regular contributor to Cyclingnews, the Guardian, skyports.com, the Scotsman and Procycling magazine.
He is also a former racing cyclist who represented Scotland at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and Great Britain at the 1998 Tour de Langkawi
His next book, Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France, will be published by Yellow Jersey in May 2011.
Another book, Sky’s the Limit: British Cycling’s Quest to Conquer the Tour de France, will also be published by HarperSport in June 2011.
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