All-New Zealand semifinal as medal beckons

13:42, Jul 25 2014
Marc Ryan
CHASING BRONZE: Marc Ryan will race for bronze in the men's 4000m individual pursuit against Wales' Owain Doull after qualifying fourth-fastest.

The New Zealand sprint cycling programme is guaranteed another Commonwealth Games medal later today with Eddie Dawkins and Sam Webster taking on each other in one semifinal of the men's sprint.

The pair were part of the team sprint which claimed New Zealand's first gold medal in Glasgow yesterday and both are eager to pick up a bit more silverware, although it will mean coach Anthony Peden working double-time.

''We saw last night that they are a class act at the moment and unfortunately they have to race each other. It's not an easy job for me now, to watch both of them going,'' Peden said.

''I'm just going to sit back and watch really. I've got to stand silent on the sidelines and that's the hardest thing for me, I'm normally pretty vocal and have arms going everywhere. You might see a bit of gaffer tape over my mouth and a zip tie around my hands.''

The loser of the all-New Zealand semifinal, set to start from 3.01am NZ time will go on to the bronze medal ride off.

England's Jason Kenny, the Olympic champion, will take on Australian Peter Lewis after knocking out fastest qualifier and Games record holder Matthew Glaetzer over two rides.


The sprint finals run from 4.08am NZT.

Kenny has had to take the long route after being beaten by Dawkins in the first round.

Lewis advanced after beating New Zealand's other quarterfinalist, Matt Archibald over two rides.

''I"m a little bit disappointed for Matt. He's worked really hard, as all the boys have, he's put everything into it and done everything I've asked of him all year. He was just beaten by a better rider today,'' Peden said.

Dawkins' winning second ride against Matthew Crampton was initially questioned by the commissaires after the New Zealander spent plenty of time in the blue paint when he was forced down the track by his opponent.

Peden said the New Zealand team had been racing cleanly and he was pleased to see the victory stand and the result go New Zealand's way when the rules were tested.

Marc Ryan will ride for a bronze medal in the 4000m individual pursuit after finishing fourth fastest in qualifying with a 4:22.511. Pursuit finals start at 4.38am NZT.

Ryan, third at this year's world championship, will take on Welshman Owain Doull, who was just over a second faster.

Patrick Bevin finished seventh with a 4:26.909 and Dylan Kennett was eighth with 4:25.930.

Meanwhile, Jaime Nielsen narrowly missed qualifying for the bronze medal ride after finishing fifth in the women's 3000m individual pursuit with a time of 3:34.342.

Nielsen's preparation had been affected by a serious knee injury, coach Craig Palmer said.

''Looking through the field there was at least eight former world championship medalists. Jaime came through and missed the bronze medal ride by just a few 10ths of a second with a PB as well, which was spectacular, I think. We had to fight injury for most of [her] buildup and she effectively had a really intensive six week campaign coming in and I think we managed to turn things around really well.''

Lauren Ellis placed ninth with a time of 3:38.716 and Georgia Williams was 16th in 3:45.334.

Both riders were slower than Palmer had hoped, but Ellis' focus is on the points race where she won silver in Delhi, while Williams has been selected largely as a support rider in the scratch and points races.

England's Joanna Rowsell topped qualifying with a Games record of 3:29.038.