World Track Championships 2009
Team Pursuit - British World Champions for a second year.
The British team dominated the final stages of the Team Pursuit but they did not get it all their own way. the New Zealand team kept pushing back and got within .04 of a second at 2000m. It was then that the Brits increased their speed and opened up the gap on the New Zealanders. Despite every effort the Kwis could not close in on the British trio.
In the fight for the Bronze medal, the young Australian team improved on their qualifying time by .3 second to secure the Bronze. This is the first senior World Championships for Kent and Ankudinoff and at 18 the pair will be ones to watch with team mate Tomic over the next few years.
The British team posted the fastest time in qualifying to secure their place in the final against the New Zealanders.
It looked like it might be a Southern hemisphere ride off in the early stages of the heat. Australia post the first of the fastest times to set the bench mark for the others to chase. A time of 3 minutes 27.719 seconds ahead of the Lithuanian team who posted a 3 minute 30.966 seconds. It wasn't until the Dutch team rode that anyone got close to the Australian team. The Netherlands, got off to a bad start, their third rider, the young Amy Pieters, lost touch with her much taller team mates, who's initial power was too much for the youngster. Pieters had to chase for almost a lap to catch the front two riders, only catching them as they started their second lap. They completed their ride in 3 minutes 30.893 seconds behind the time of the Australian team.
crowd had to wait until New Zealand Team rode, before they saw a team to
match the Aussies. Fresh from her World Championship ride in the
Individual Pursuit, Alison Shanks led her team including, Jaime Nielsen
and Lauren Ellis one of the youngest women in the competition to the
fastest time at that stage. A time of 3 minutes 26.023 seconds, placed
them in the Gold medal ride. The New Zealanders, then had to wait until
the British trio of Joanne Rowsell, Wendy Houvenaghel and Lizzy
Armitstead. The British team were a slick team, their changes were almost
perfect as they swept round the 3000m. They launched themselves into the
Gold/Silver ride with a time of 3 minutes 25.147 seconds.
Lizzy Armistead, Joanne Rowsell and Wendy Houvenaghel (GBR) had a tough battle to win the Gold medal and their consecutive World Championship jerseys. Armistead was over the moon with the teams performance, "I am very happy, it is a strange feeling I have not had one like this before. That was incredible. I am not surprised, I knew we could do it but that was tough. we just went as fast as we could," said Armistead. Armistead heads into the Scratch and Points race as one of the favourites, given her performance over the World Cup series, "It puts a bit of pressure on me, I try not to think about it too much. I try not to let it unsettle me but in does. You have to try not to let your dreams run away with you. But you have to focus on what you do. We have a great team around us and we have a great future," added Armistead.
Alison Shanks, Lauren Ellis and Jaime Nielsen (New Zealand) gave it everything in the final against the British. Ellis was very happy, "Obviously it would have been nice to have won Gold but we are pleased with the Silver. This is my first World Championships so I an very pleased. I knew it was getting close in the final laps, by the way the coach was shouting at us, I had no idea how close it was," said Ellis. Shanks was smiling but obviously disappointed not to have won Gold, "In those first few seconds when you cross the line you realise that you have not won gold and you are disappointed, but then you realise you have won a medal and it is great. Two medals in a championship can't be bad," said Shanks. Nielsen has moved over from rowing and in her first World Champs was very pleased with her, "I am so pleased with this medal. I can't believe it," said Nielsen.
Ashlee Ankudinoff, Josie Tomic and Sarah Kent (Australia) were over the moon with their Bronze medal. Ankudinoff said, "We wanted to go in there and give it our best shot and we did. We were three seconds up on the Netherlands in qualifying but we knew they would come back. To come back with a faster time is amazing. A 24 (3:24.972) is pretty good. This has exceeded my expectations. We came into this event expecting a top four finish, so third is awesome. this is just stepping stones to London, where I hope the three of us will be together to rip it up."
Sarah Kent, like Ashlee is in her first World Championship and could not have been happier. "I am so happy, we wanted to make the top four, preferably the top two, but we are very happy with Bronze and we improved on out time. We can't ask for anything else," said Kent. Kent was asked how she will celebrate and she added, "I am finished now, but we will need to keep it on the 'down low' because the team is still racing but as soon as it is over we will."
Josie Tomic, as the senior member of the trio, Tomic led them confidently. "I am so proud of them. Especially Ashlee, she has been struggling a bit in Training, but when she puts a number on her back she can lift it and she definitely did that tonight. We did a really good time, to be within two seconds of the fastest team is a great achievement for us," said Tomic
New Zealand was overjoyed at making the final against the British Team. Alison Shanks chatted after they had secured their place in the final. "We are definitely happy with that. another final tonight, we are stoked. We will give it heaps again tonight," said Shanks.
Australia posted as fast time to get themselves into a Bronze medal ride. A massive achievement considering the age of the team and the fact that for two of the team it is their first Senior World Championships.
Ashlee Ankudinoff at 18 is one of the new finds in the talent ID programme in Australia. In her first major championships, Ankudinoff looked extremely nervous before the start of the team pursuit ride. "I was so nervous before we started, this is my first World Championship. Coming out of Juniors last year, this is a huge step. It makes you realise, juniors matters at the time to show yourself but there is always the next level and once I am here it is a massive achievement, so I was pretty nervous. we are a young team and we are stepping into the unknown. we just gave it everything and tried our best. We had to go out and give it our all. we set the benchmark for everyone else," said Kankudinoff.
Josie Tomic despite being only 19, is one of the more experienced members of the women's team. Former Junior World individual Pursuit Champion, Tomic still looked nervous before the start of the qualifying ride. "I was a lot more nervous today than I was yesterday for the Individuals. I didn't want to let the other two down. This is the event we have been training for. We were all pretty nervous. It was quite a good time to be honest, I thought we could go a little bit faster. We made a few errors but hopefully we can correct them in the final and do an even faster time," said Tomic.
Sarah Kent at
18 is again one of the youngest riders in the competition. "I am
absolutely amazed that I am here. We are all so young and it is an amazing feat
for us to be here an in with a medal chance.
Netherlands managed to qualify for the final just behind the Australians, Vera Koedooder said, "I have been sick all week and Ellen [van Dijk] was not well after yesterday. We gave it everything to make the finals. I am not sure how we will go, the Australians are riding well. We will have to give it everything to win."
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