Day 3 report: Matthew Glaetzer and Anna Meares claim Australian sprint titles

South Australia's Matthew Glaetzer and Anna Meares claimed the sprint crowns on night three of the 2014 Subaru Cycling Australia Track National Championships at the Adelaide Super-drome while Tasmania broke through for its first women's team pursuit title, South Australian Annette Edmondson defended her points crown and Scott Law (NSW) claimed the elite men's scratch race.

In the under 19 events, Callum Scotson (SA) clinched the points race and Braeden Dean (VIC) took the keirin title.

Men's Sprint
Gold Matthew Glaetzer (SA), Silver Nathan Hart (ACT), Bronze Mitch Bullen (NSW)

Matthew Glaetzer (SA) claimed his maiden sprint title with a superb display of pure speed and power throughout the two-day competition.

Glaetzer progressed through to the final with ease, tearing up the track on Thursday with a scorching 9.901 in the flying 200m qualification round - an Australian Championship record.

Defeating defending champion Mitch Bullen (NSW) comfortably in the semi-final, Glaetzer set up the final battle against rising star Nathan Hart (ACT).

Rising star Nathan Hart (ACT) took on Glaetzer in the final after of two-time national champion and London Olympic bronze medallist Shane Perkins (VIC) withdrew for precautionary reasons due to a niggling back injury.

In the final, Glaetzer swallowed Hart on the back straight to go one up, before controlling the second heat from the front to power to his first gold in the event.

"It's great to finally get on the top step of the podium for a sprint," said Glaetzer, who took silver in 2013 behind Bullen.

It has been a stellar track season from Glaetzer, most recently highlighted by his scorching ride at the Mexico Track World Cup in December where he recorded the second fastest flying 200m time in history (9.459) on his way to winning gold.

"It was a shame (to have) Shane Perkins withdraw, but the big picture is the world championships (that are) coming up and we have to make sure our body is in prime condition for that," said Perkins.

"It is definitely a different situation for us, we just need to take it one race at a time, we might be feeling tired, but that's life. We need to adapt to that and we're used to that with world cups and championship racing.

" Nathan Hart is a quality sprinter and he will catch you out if you make a mistake, so it was on from the get go. I just had to hang on; I knew it was going to hurt, but as long as I got ahead on the first two – job done."

Mitch Bullen (NSW) automatically took the bronze medal in the absence of a fourth rider following Perkins' withdrawal.

Women's Sprint
Gold Anna Meares (SA), Silver Steph Morton (SA), Bronze Caitlin Ward (VIC)

Like Glaetzer, it was a clinical performance from reigning Olympic champion Anna Meares (SA) as she claimed her seventh national sprint crown.

Fastest qualifier and defending champion Steph Morton (SA) set the pace from the front in the first heat, however a measured race from six-time national champion Meares saw her reel Morton in on the home straight to go 1-0.

It was more of the same in the second, with Meares not giving Morton an inch as she powered to the win in front of adoring home crowd.

"I had to pull out a master class to get over Stephanie tonight, she's qualified fastest for the event and she's really stepped up," said Meares after claiming her thirty-first national title.

"These girls are biting at my heels and while it's good for me, geez it hurts," said Meares.

"I really had a bit of a battle with the old head noggin just to get into the final," Meares revealed. "I was so edgy for the semi, let alone the final.

"To be honest, I was almost thinking about the headlines - 'Meares gets beaten finally' - so I just decided to take my coach's advice and put out whatever I could.

"I really wanted it tonight, so being able to push a bit harder and find a bit more in the tank than what I thought I actually had, it's really nice.

The bronze medal final was a battle between 19-year-olds Taylah Jennings (QLD) and Caitlin Ward (VIC), with the Victorian winning in two straight heats.

Women's 4000m Team Pursuit
Gold Tasmania, Silver Western Australia, Bronze South Australia

Tasmania ended Western Australia's six-year reign in the women's team pursuit with an amazing fight-back in the final laps to win by just nine-one thousandths of a second.

The event featured four riders over the 4000m distance for the first time in nationals history and nothing separated the two teams in the afternoon qualifying session, with the Tasmanian quartet of Amy Cure and Georgia Baker, plus under 19 riders Lauren Perry and Macey Stewart, the fastest (4:36.030) by just three tenths of a second.

Melissa Hoskins, Isabella King, Elissa Wundersitz and Tian Beckett set out strongly in their mission to claim a seventh straight title, establishing a lead over almost one and a half seconds after the first kilometre.

They maintained their advantage over the second and third kilometres, despite only having three riders after sprinter Beckett swung up after driving the training for the first few laps.

However in the dying stages, Tasmania pounced on the advantage of having an extra rider, overcoming a one second deficit heading into the final lap before crossing the line in 4mins 31.661secs, narrowly ahead of West Australia (4:31.670).

"It felt awesome, this is the first time we've raced the 4000m and we've never won a team's pursuit, so to be able to do that is fantastic," said Cure who claimed the pursuit double following her victory in the individual pursuit on Thursday night.

"We knew it would come down to the end and it was going to be very close, as the qualifying showed.

"I thought we were down a bit, until we finished, and I came around, looked up on the scoreboard and it said we'd won – so I was stoked with that."

"We've got two of the juniors in Lauren and Macey coming through up to the seniors, and they've deserved every piece of their gold medal," added Cure.

"I'm really excited to get my first senior national title. I came here wanting to get a couple of medals in the Under 19's, but to come here and take out a senior title with a great bunch of girls is awesome," said Perry.

South Australia's Annette Edmondson, Holly Takos, Alexandra Manly And Danielle McKinnirey caught the Victorian team of Deanna Bax, Beth Duryea, Lisa Hanley and Lauretta Hanson with seven laps remaining to take the bronze medal.

The only all under 19 team in the competition of Lara Batkin, Tayla Hunt, Hollee Simons and Josie Talbot (NSW) qualified fourth fastest overall in 4mins 52.577secs and were awarded the silver medal based on time percentages.

Men's 15 kilometre Scratch
Gold Scott (LAW), silver Glenn O'Shea (SA), Bronze Stephen Hall (WA)

New South Wales' Scott Law won a punishing elite men's scratch race which proved to be a true race of attrition in the Adelaide heat.

The pace was furious from the gun, with the decisive move coming mid-way through the race when Law (NSW), Glenn O'Shea (SA) and Stephen Hall (WA) attacked and quickly distanced the bunch.

A surging Jack Bobridge (SA) soon joined them, but with the remainder of field lapped and removed from the race by the commissaries, the four were left the battle it out to the end.

Law attacked at the bell, catching the three riders off guard. Despite an aggressive attempt from O'Shea to chase him down, it as in vain as Law took the gold in convincing fashion. O'Shea claimed silver ahead of Hall.

"We had a strong break going with myself and Steve Hall, Jack Bobridge and Glenn O'Shea and we just worked really well and just came away with the goods in the end," said Law, who also claimed the scratch national title in 2010 and 2011.

"I knew that the SA boys were going to do something in the end there considering they had half the break. So I was just watching and waiting for the right time and I was pretty lucky to come away with the win there.

"The last couple of times that I've ended up winning this I've done the same sort of move so it works out well for me."

Women's 25km Points Race
Gold Annette Edmondson (SA), Silver Melissa Hoskins (WA), Bronze Rebecca Wiasak (ACT)

South Australia's Annette Edmondson took her third straight title in the event as she secured the maximum points in four of the first five of ten sprints (every ten lap of the 100 lap event) to establish a stranglehold on the race.

However, Melissa Hoskins (WA), Rebecca Wiasak (ACT) and Elissa Wundersitz (WA) launched an attack shortly after the halfway mark with the trio taking a lap on the field and collecting twenty points in the process.

In the final forty laps, Edmondson won four of the final five sprints, including the decisive final sprint, to finish on 43 points, five ahead of Hoskins (38points) and Wiasak (27).

"Halfway through that race I thought oh no, I don't have the legs but I just thought, anything can happen. I just had to keep going until the final sprint and luckily it pulled off," said Edmondson, who added to the silver and bronze claimed in the individual and team pursuits.

"I knew my legs were good for the first few sprints but I was a little bit worried. I was riding around in shivers there so I think the heat was starting to get to me, but luckily I just managed to keep my head on," said Edmondson.

South Australia's Callum Scotson took gold in the under 19 men's 25km points race.

Scotson, who was part of a six-man group that lapped the field mid-way through the race, won on 43 points ahead of Jack Edwards (NSW/38pts) and James Robinson (TAS/27pts).

"I knew I had good legs and it was all about not letting anyone get a lap so I had to be attentive. Lucky I got on when the break went," said Scotson.

In the final event, Victoria's Braeden Dean claimed his third national title in three days, bursting through the pack to win an exciting under 19 men's keirin final.

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