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Commonwealth Games 2006

Melbourne - Track Competition

Day 4 - Pursuit rounds and finals

Games Website

Katie Mactier takes gold in Aussie 1-2. Emma Jones took third

Write-up

In a field of mixed levels of experience including riders of world class status to relatively new comers to the event, the qualification event and eventual finals were in some opinions a forgone conclusion.  

The Australian Katie Mactier had already appeared in the local Sunday press as the winner of the Gold medal and Kate Bates the winner of the silver before the race was even ridden. 

Mactier who won silver in Athens and the World title in 2005 was tipped to be challenged by Kate Bates (AUS), World Silver medalist, but Bates had to settle for silver again as Mactier showed her dominance to take Gold. With little recovery time between the heat and final, the 30-year-old Victorian (Mactier) only managed to clock 3:35.196 in the gold medal race to beat Bates by nearly two seconds. 

Emma Jones (nee Davis) won the Bronze medal ride against Oceania champion New Zealander Alison Shanks, who at 19 was enjoying her first Commonwealth Games. 

Alexis Rhodes (AUS) had a great ride but unfortunately finished seventh. Rhodes, who was welcomed to the race track with a stirring cheer from the crowd, looked strong early in her pursuit but faded near the end, crossing the line at 3:44.614. 

The Malaysian cycling team, who is now based in Perth at the West Australian Institute of Sport had one rider in the pursuit. Despite finishing in 9th place Uracca Leow Hoay Sim recorded a personal best time of 3.59.43.  

The major disappointment of the night was for the English rider Wendy Houvenaghel, who in her ride against Mactier, managed to get herself in fourth place, only to be disqualified for breaching the UCI rules. Houvenaghel was passed by Mactier at the half way stage and should have stayed behind her. Instead she increased her speed and passed Mactier causing huge confusion and disruption in rhythm for the Australian and a breach of the rules. Houvenaghel could have been a real contender for a medal in this event, having recently won World Cup event in a time of 3.41.01 and the English Championships.

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Post Race Comments  

Katie Mactier was very emotional about her victory tonight, in front of her home crowd and the Premier John Howard. I cant even begin to tell you how I feel. Ive raced in Athens and other championships but Ive never been quite as emotional as tonight. I dont usually hear the crowd but tonight it was like thunder.

Mactier shared some personal thoughts about her emotional reaction Mum said to me weeks ago, 'You know it's alright to get a tear going.' And it's true. It was truly very emotional for me. I think there was a bit of pressure going into tonight," she said. 

Prime Minister John Howard presented Mactier with her gold medal, a huge surprise for the rider.

"When I was doing my victory lap I saw the Prime Minister sitting there and I honestly nearly fell off my bike. He genuinely was very impressed and proud. To make the Prime Minister of the country proud brought a tear to my eyes." 

Kate Bates (AUS) reaction to her silver medal: That was the closest Ive ever been to her (Katie Mactier). Ive never been within four seconds of her before and tonight I was two so on a personal level that's very, very encouraging. Bates view on coming second again to Mactier in a major championship always the bridesmaid, but I seem to be getting closer and closer, win or lose, I put it all out there. Im really pleased I was so close to Katie (Mactier AUS) it motivates me for the World Championships in a few weeks.

Bates said of Rhodes: "You can't at all be disappointed the comeback she's made and how fast she's gone."

Talking about their relationship, both riders (Bates and Mactier) shared the same opinion. 

Bates: We are number one and two in the world, we have a fantastic friendship and we spur each other on.

Mactier: Kate is a great competitor, we train together and are the best of friends.

 

Emma Jones (ENG) after qualifying for the finals was pleased to have a chance at the Bronze ride off. Im shocked to be in Bronze medal ride. I am very happy and put all that behind me now to concentrate on the Bronze medal ride. Hopefully Ill get Bronze.

After receiving the Bronze medal Emma Jones expressed what it meant to her. It means the whole world to me. I am in shock. A few weeks ago I did a trial and I was 5 seconds slower. I thought it was just great to be here. I enjoyed the whole experience and just relaxed. I cant believe it worked.

Asked how she was feeling physically Jones added Im in a lot of pain, this has really taken it out of me and I am taking a lot of pain killers just to get through. I am going to head home to Belgium as I have team commitments but I will need to get some steady recovery miles in before I push my body again.

On the possibility of going to the Worlds in a few weeks Im not sure at this stage, I just want to go home and see how I go. I was not expecting to be here after my accident.

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Result   

Gold / Silver 

Final

Name

 

Country

Time

Speed Km/h

Gold

Katie

Mactier

AUS

3.35.196

50.186

Silver

Kate

Bate

AUS

3.37.089

47.749

Bronze Ride-off 

 

Name

 

Country

Time

Speed Km/h

Bronze

Emma

Jones

ENG

3.40.057

49.078

 

Alison

Shanks

NZL

3.40.878

48.895

Qualifying  

Rank

Name

 

Country

Time

Speed Km/h

1

Katie

Mactier

AUS

3.30.29 (GR)

51.357

2

Kate

Bate

AUS

3.34.471

50.356

3

Emma

Jones

ENG

3.38.791

49.362

4

Alison

Shanks

NZL

3.40.738

48.927

5

Katrina

Hair

SCO

3.43.524

48.316

6

Paddy

Walker

NZL

3.44.181

48.173

7

Alexis

Rhodes

AUS

3.44.614

48.082

8

Iona

Wynter

JAM

3.52.679

46.415

9

Uracca Leow

Hoay Sim

MAS

3.59.430

45.107

10

Noor Azian Binti

Alias

MAS

4.05.107

44.062

 

Wendy

Houvenaghel

ENG

3.39.954

Disqualified

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