NZ sprint team scorch Glasgow track for gold

01:42, Jul 25 2014
Andrea Hewitt and Nicky Samuels
Andrea Hewitt (left) and Nicky Samuels make their way through the transition zone during the women's triathlon.
Andrea Hewitt
Andrea Hewitt (nearest camera) leaps off the starting block with the rest of the women's triathlon field.
Andrea Hewitt
Andrea Hewitt in action during the swim stage of the women's triathlon.
Eddie Dawkins
Eddie Dawkins was the second-fastest during men's sprint qualifying and later advanced to the quarterfinals.
Darnica Manuel
New Zealand's Darnica Manuel (in white) in action against Scotland's Stephanie Inglis in the women's 57kg judo division.
Chanel Kavanagh
New Zealand's Chanel Kavanagh (in white) gets the better of Barbados' Onoh-Obasi Okey in the women's 48kg judo quarterfinals.
Sam Webster
Sam Webster was impressive in beating Scotland's Callum Skinner in the men's sprint first round.
Eddie Dawkins
Eddie Dawkins stormed into the men's sprint quarters, beating Olympic gold medalist Jason Kenny.
NZ pursuit team
The NZ pursuit team in action in qualifying at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome.
Kate Jenner
Australia's Kate Jenner (right) effectively tackles Malaysia's Rabiatul Mohamed during their group match.
Women's lawn bowls
Canadian and English lawn bowlers study the head during their women's fours action.
Michelle Chan
Kiwi Michelle Chan in action during women's badminton singles against Geurnsey's Elena Johnson.
The Queen
Queen Elizabeth II, with Prince Philip sitting to her right, shares a laugh with spectators during the England women's hockey match against Wales.
NZ sprint team
The New Zealand men's sprint team of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins set a new Commonwealth Games record in qualifying and then again in the gold medal ride to beat England.
Lauren Boyle gallery
Kiwi swimmer Lauren Boyle on her way to finishing fourth in the women's 200m freestyle final.
Lauren Boyle
Kiwi swimmer Lauren Boyle after finishing fourth in the women's 200m freestyle final on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games.
Samantha Lucie-Smith
Samantha Lucie-Smith after swimming for New Zealand in the women's 4 x 100m freestyle relay final.
Sprint team gallery
Sam Webster, Ethan Mitchell and Eddie Dawkins celebrate winning gold in the final of the men's team sprint race in Glasgow.
Pursuit team
Marc Ryan, Pieter Bulling, Dylan Kennett and Shane Archbold celebrate after taking the bronze medal in the final of the men's 4000m team pursuit.
Amelia Coleman
New Zealand's Amelia Coleman in action with the ribbon during the rhythmic gymnastics competition.
Nick Haig
Nick Haig (left) celebrates Phil Burrows' goal in the Black Sticks' 3-1 victory over Canada in Group B.

The pressure of being world champions and the pressure of being top qualifiers was blown away along with the opposition by the New Zealand team sprinters at the Commonwealth Games today.

Favourites to claim the gold medal before the competition started, the trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins broke the Games record twice on the way to the top of the podium to collect New Zealand's first gold medal in Glasgow.

Starter Ethan Mitchell didn't bother trying to hide his emotions on the dais.

FIRST GOLD: 750m cycling team sprinters Sam Webster, Ethan Mitchell and Eddie Dawkins celebrate New Zealand's opening gold medal at the Glasgow Games.

''I'm over the moon,'' Mitchell said.

''We've come here as world champions, there was a little bit more pressure on us and to go out there and ride a personal best time at sea level for us is - we couldn't have asked for more.''

''To win a gold medal with my mates is a really special moment.''


NZ sprint team
FIRST GOLD: Commonwealth Games men's team sprint gold medalists Ethan Mitchell (left) and Eddie Dawkins congratulate each other. Sam Webster was the third member of the team.

The trio broke their own Commonwealth Games record set in qualifying, winning the final in a time of 43.181sec to England's 43.706 from their team of Kian Emadi, Philip Hindes and Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny.

Led out by Mitchell, New Zealand led at every split and Dawkins powered them home as the team raised their fists in triumph.

Australia won the bronze medal.

NZ sprint team
GOLDEN BLUR: The New Zealand men's sprint team of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins set a new Commonwealth Games record in qualifying and then again in the gold medal ride to beat England.

Earlier, the New Zealand team set a Games record on the way to being fastest qualifiers. Their mark of 43.254sec for the 750m event was the best time ever by a New Zealand team at sea level.

It wasn't a perfect ride from the New Zealand team, however, with Mitchell drifting off the front of the train during the opening lap.

England also broke the previous Games record in their heat with a 43.730sec ride.

While Dawkins and Webster would continue in tomorrow's individual sprint - they were second and third fastest qualifiers respectively, Mitchell was looking forward to returning to the athletes village to reflect on being a Commonwealth Games champion.

''It's a big moment, when you've worked so hard for a result like that and to come away with a win, I think it just catches up with you," Mitchell said.

"It's all worth it when you are on the top of the podium - to see your mum and dad who have travelled from New Zealand in the crowd with my cousin, it's a really special moment for me,'' he said.

Sprint coach Anthony Peden was like a doting dad after his team delivered in the gold medal final against an England team which offered a challenge early before ending up in the weeds.

"I'm over the moon; couldn't be happier,'' Peden said.

''They're just a class act at the moment; they've done all the hard work.

''Two PBs as well as two Commonwealth records at sea level, very solid by every rider. It takes three riders to win a race and every one of them brought their A-games today. I'm proud, real proud.''

The New Zealand team looked a class above throughout, qualifying nearly half a second faster than second-placed England in the morning session.

Peden was confident the team still had some reserves to be tapped in the final, and during the sprint programme to come.

"I thought we might have got a bit more out of them, but that's not a bad thing, we've got two or three more days of racing. It just showed; Great Britain brought their A game to the final, they lifted again... I'm just rapt,'' he said.

"I was very confident. There's no certainties in this game but we certainly came prepared. For the last eight weeks we've prepared for this day.

''We've done everything correct and we haven't had many hiccups along the way.

''We've shown in the last week and a half what we're capable of, day in and day out, we're not searching for that little bit of form.

''Nothing surprised me today and there's a bit more in the tank for Rio, don't worry.''