Morton not into mind games
AUSTRALIA'S top female sprinter Stephanie Morton combines cycling with studying criminology at university but doesn't buy into the mind games or psychological profiling of her rivals.
The 27-year-old won gold in Glasgow in 2014 when she upstaged teammate Anna Meares in the sprint and now that Meares has retired, leads the team into a new era on the Gold Coast, starting on Thursday.
Morton said she focused on tactics, not mind games, in the cat-and-mouse sprint after winning a silver medal in the event at the past two world championships.
"I'll look at them (rivals) in terms of their strengths and weaknesses but I don't get involved in all those head games, let your legs do the talking really," she said. "Once you walk off I'd like to think you can shake hands and have a drink.
"It's a bit old school to get caught up in all those mind games, I like to think you can go out there - may the best man or woman win on tactics or strength - and it not be about intimidation."
Morton is studying a bachelor of criminology and criminal justice with the aim of emulating current world champion Kristina Vogel of Germany and joining the police force.
"I've always wanted to be a police officer and while you're training it's good to keep your brain busy and have another distraction," she said. "And I'm not going to be a bike rider forever so I want to put things in place for my future, and that was starting to get my head around the criminal justice system with the end goal of moving into a career in the police and see where it takes me from there.
"I do my lectures online and I'm absolutely loving it."
Morton said she had changed "massively" since the Glasgow Games and was like a completely different rider.
"I'd only been in the national team for two years around then and was still finding my feet, getting exposed to big competition," she said. "So four years down the track I have a lot more races under my belt and physically I'm completely different."
Her 200m sprint qualifying PB is 10.6 seconds and Morton is hopeful that may fall on the Anna Meares Velodrome during the Games.
"We're going in fresh so I'd like to think it's possible but you've got to get it right on the day, you can sit here and say you're feeling good but all that matters is when you cross the line and look up at the board," she said.
"And the ultimate goal would be to back the title up, that would be pretty special."
The Olympian said winning a silver medal at the world titles in Apeldoorn last month while training through the championships was a good confidence boost.
"I went in with not low expectations but I wasn't thinking I was going to go and rip it up, I was trying to be realistic knowing everyone would be coming in hot and I'd be still training," she said.
"So to get the silver I was stoked, and it just shows that without the tapered legs you can go in with specific aims and goals and still get the job done."
Morton is in action with Kaarle McCulloch in the women's team sprint on the opening day of track competition on Thursday.