Silver Medal for Kate Mactier at World Championships

Can Katie turn world championship silver into Athens Gold?

The 2004 World Cycling Championships in Melbourne promoted theWomen's 3000m Individual Pursuit gold medal final as the highlight race of the 5 days.

28 year old Sarah Ulmer from Auckland shattered Leontian Zijlaard - Van Moorsel's four year old world record in qualifying and went into the final against Australian Katie Mactier

The Trans-Tasman final saw the capacity crowd cheer on the two blondes. The atmosphere was electric as the gun sounded to start the race that would make one of them the champion of the world. Katie Mactier went out hard and fast and lead for the first two kilometers. The 29-year-old Katie Mactier in her hometown of Melbourne got up to 2.133 seconds ahead of Ulmer at one stage, but she had hit out too soon. A smooth pedaling Ulmer started to reel her back in at the three-minute mark and soon increased her lead to 1.853 and then 2.374 and 2.802. Ulmer, travelling at 50.996 km/h, was the winner.  

But both women were obviously the victors, with coaches, team-mates, family, and friends and supporters’ overwhelming them with hugs, kisses and compliments. 

Katie Mactier climbed aboard her road bike on the infield to warm down and admitted she was disappointed that she hadn't been able to clinch the gold medal, but was delighted for Ulmer, who had to hold onto the handrail as she descended the stairs leading from the track.

Ulmer repeated her words from winning the Sydney Track World Cup two weeks earlier:

"I am stoked, absolutely stoked. Ulmer said the race was a difficult one. You start, you ride harder on the second kilometer and even harder the third kilometer," she said.

Breaking the world record two days before had been a definite confidence booster,it had created more attention than she had expected, that had in turn created extra pressure. 

Katie Mactier had set about winning the world championship on her list of goals she set earlier in the year, but Athens is the real objective. “Olympics are amazing, they’re awesome.” 

Katie Mactier, listens to Eminem through headphones to psyche up for a race, said she might have to find some "calmer" music after being too fast in the early stages. "It's a matter of perhaps not going so fast in the first kilometer," she said. "I tend to charge ahead with my start. Maybe it's what Ian Mackenzie said, that a lot could be nervous energy combined with some fast twitch muscle fibres, which could be addressed by a sports psychologist.

"My start comes out like it's a kilo. But - and I am not just looking for an excuse - the fact is this is only my second World Championships and I only got on a track bike for the first time just over a year ago, so I have got things to learn. My career began on the road with the A.I.S. then a contract an Italian Team followed by some great victories with US Team Saturn in 2003 to add to my Australian Road Champion 2001 title." 

Katie is now focussed on preparing for Athens, after winning successive Australian Pursuit Championships and 2 silver medals in the World Pursuit Championships; Katie is looking at ways to improve her endurance. She will keep training for a while in Melbourne with coach John Beasley and then join the Australian team in Germany. 

"I must say I am really thrilled for Sarah though. She is a terrific friend. I am disappointed but there's no point being a sore loser. If anything, it makes me hungrier to do better in Athens. It's rare in this sport to be able to race against someone who is a friend. It's very special. 

A middle distance runner as a teenager, then triathlons, showed Katie's potential and her meteoric rise from her 1st race in 1998 are due to her incredible work ethic. Professionalism gets results as is her pursuit to be the very best that she can be. 

"I am very humble to have been beaten by Sarah. And I am humble to have so many people here for me and to be honest, a little embarrassed."

                          Bronze medal final


1 Elena Tchalykh (Russia) 1.13.864 (2) 2.23.536 (1) 3.34.199 (50.420km/h)

2 Olga Slyusareva (Russia) 1.13.675 (1) 2.24.302 (2) 3.36.943 (49.782km/h)


                         Gold medal final


1 Sarah Ulmer (New Zealand) 1.13.635 (2) 2.22.059 (2) 3.31.778 (50.996km/h)

2 Katie Mactier (Australia) 1.11.502 (1) 2.21.676 (1) 3.34.859 (50.265km/h)


                         Final classification


                         1 Sarah Ulmer (New Zealand)

                         2 Katie Mactier (Australia)

                         3 Elena Tchalykh (Russia)

                         4 Olga Slyusareva (Russia)

                         5 Leontien Zijlaard Van Moorsel (Netherlands)

                         6 Katherine Bates (Australia)

                         7 Karin ThŸrig (Switzerland)

                         8 Emma Davies (Great Britain)

                         9 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic)

                         10 Maria Luisa Calle (Colombia)

                         11 Marion Clignet (France)

                         12 Adrie Visser (Netherlands)

                         13 Apollinaria Bakova (Russia)

                         14 Erin Mirabella (USA)

                         15 Juliette Vandekerckhove (France)

                         16 Meifang Li (China)

                         17 Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany)

                         18 Tatiana Shishkova (Moldavia)

                         19 Sofiya Pryshchepa (Ukraine)

                         20 Uyun Muzizah (Indonesia)

                         21 Cherifa Adda (Algeria)