Cyclist Sam Webster wins third Games medal


Sam Webster was looking forward to catching up with his parents later today and finally getting a chance to appreciate just what he's achieved this week.

The Aucklander won his third medal of the Commonwealth Games with a silver in the keirin this morning, to go with the gold medals he won in the team and individual sprints.

Webster finished second behind Australian Matthew Glaetzer by less than half a wheel, but there were no regrets from the rider who has been New Zealand's most successful athlete in Glasgow.

In an absorbing final, Webster found himself pushed from second wheel back to fifth and nearly missed his chance after teammate Eddie Dawkins and Glaetzer both attacked early.

''It would have been great to have got the gold, but the way that I raced, with the way it panned out, I was on second wheel with two and a half to go and then fifth through some argy-bargy,'' he said.

''I had to make a split-second decision on what I was going to do next and then it went from having a ride where it was picking and choosing my time, to having the sirens going off in my head and having to light it up.

''I was really happy with that, Matt had an amazing ride. He put himself out in the wind from a long way out and he was absolutely trucking. He deserved to win that race and I'm just happy that I did the best I could from the position I was in and came away with silver.''

Dawkins' early raid proved unsuccessful and he ended up placing sixth overall.

Olympic bronze medallist Simon van Velthooven struggled to back up from his silver medal in the 1000m time trial yesterday.

He finished third in his heat and was forced to go to the repechage round where he was unable to advance from a heat which included former world keirin champion Shane Perkins.

His third place in the repechage meant he also missed the consolation final for places from seventh to 12th.

Webster was feeling little pressure when he arrived in the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome this morning.

After a rest day which had been more effective than he had hoped for, he was ready to make the most of the outstanding form he's in.

Now he will take the time to enjoy the fruits of his labours.

''I've been using all of the sport psyche techniques to get me through each round, each race, each day and get the most out of my performance. I haven't really had an opportunity to cherish these medals yet.''

Webster and his track teammates will have a short break before returning to Cambridge to prepare for World Cup meets later this year and the start of the Olympic qualification programme.