AP Photo - Robert F. Bukaty

Kiwi star’s ‘disrespectful’ act

A NEW Zealand cycling star has been accused of producing a gesture of disrespect towards his Australian rival in the men's 4000m individual pursuit bronze medal showdown.

New Zealand's Dylan Kennett had blown Aussie Jordan Kerby away early in their head-to-head battle at the Anna Meares Velodrome on the Gold Coast and was on his way to comfortably win the bronze medal by more than four seconds.

With Kennett enjoying such a comfortable buffer heading into the final lap, the 23-year-old visibly relaxed and stood up tall with his shoulders straight on the bike, slowing dramatically.

He proceeded to stand up tall in a relaxed position where he stayed right until the finish line without any acknowledgment of the bumper crowd surrounding the track.

Aussie two-time Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning cyclist Kate Bates was shocked to see Kennett treat his Aussie rival with such little respect.

She told Channel 7 in commentary that the Kiwi star's gesture appeared to be an attempt to show his dominance over the Aussie crowd.

"Well, a good ride from the New Zealander," Bates said.

"I have to say a bit disrespectful to sit up at the end like that. He didn't sit up and appreciate the crowd and wave. He just sat up as if to show his dominance over the Australian."

It came after Bates' fellow commentator described Kennett's final lap as "not concerned about the time".

"He's just rolling around now. He's not too concerned about the time. He's just going to cruise onto the finish. He knows he's got the bronze medal."

In other events at the Anna Meares Velodrome, Scottish siblings Katie and John Archibald celebrated gold and silver on Friday as Australia reached a landmark 100 Commonwealth Games titles in track cycling.

Australia stepped up their dominance, adding two more gold medals to the three they pocketed 24 hours earlier.

But not before the unassuming Archibalds made their mark on the competition. Katie, 24, is already a team pursuit Olympic gold medallist after winning with Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She added the Commonwealth 3000m individual pursuit title to her growing haul after she emphatically beat out Australia's Rebecca Wiasak.

Wiasak had the home support roaring her on, but after a fast start Archibald wore her down to win gold in 3mins 26.088sec.

"I knew she had gone out hard, the crowd was going mental," said Archibald, who set a Commonwealth-record 3:24.119 earlier in the day.

"That can only be bad news, really, as I'd rather be chased than chase. The last few metres were horrible."

Katie's brother John, 27, is a former swimmer who got into track and road cycling after discovering he had a taste for it while commuting to work on his bike.

He took silver behind the 21-year-old Englishman Charlie Tanfield, who streaked home in 4:15.952 to win the 4,000m individual pursuit.

"Seeing Katie win the gold got me going," said John. "The final was hard and the pressure was on, but she certainly put me in the mix. I just wished I could've backed it up better."

Australia, resurgent after a disappointing Rio Olympics, sealed a fourth track cycling gold when Stephanie Morton eased to victory in a one-sided women's sprint final.

She defeated Natasha Hansen, a New Zealander who has put her career as an air-traffic controller on hold to focus on her sport.

It was Australia's 100th Commonwealth cycling gold and further proof that the failure to win a single gold in Rio two years ago is behind them.

"It is an honour to receive the 100th gold medal for Australia in cycling. This is testament to the great Australian cycling program," said Morton.

"Tonight was all adrenaline. The crowd was so loud, it was amazing."

The biggest cheer of the night erupted in the final race when Australia's sprint world champion Matt Glaetzer obliterated the field in the men's keirin, with Lewis Oliva of Wales taking silver and the Kiwi Edward Dawkins bronze.

Glaetzer, Australia's sprint king, paid tribute to his late coach Gary West, who lost his battle with motor neurone disease last year, aged 57.

"The coach was a big loss and had a lot to do with my preparation as an athlete," said Glaetzer, 25.

"He will always be part of the sprint team."

- with AFP



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