Commonwealth Games 2006
Melbourne - Track Competition
Day 4 - Pursuit rounds and finals
Katie Mactier takes gold in Aussie 1-2. Emma Jones took third
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.
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.
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.
Jones (nee Davis) won the Bronze medal ride against Oceania champion New
Zealander Alison Shanks, who at 19 was enjoying her first Commonwealth
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
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.
Mactier was very emotional
about her victory tonight, in front of her home crowd and the Premier John
can’t even begin to tell you how I feel. I’ve raced in Athens and other
championships but I’ve never been quite as emotional as tonight. I don’t
usually hear the crowd but tonight it was like thunder.”
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.
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."
Bates (AUS) reaction to her silver medal: “That
was the closest I’ve ever been to her (Katie Mactier). I’ve 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. I’m really pleased I was so close to Katie (Mactier
–AUS) it motivates me for the World Championships in a few weeks.”
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.
“We are number one and two in the world, we have a fantastic friendship
and we spur each other on.”
“Kate is a great competitor, we train together and are the best
Jones (ENG) after qualifying for the finals was pleased to have a
chance at the Bronze ride off. “I’m 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 I’ll get Bronze.”
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 can’t believe it worked.”
how she was feeling physically Jones added “ I’m
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 “I’m 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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