Kaarle McCulloch and Sam Welsford added to Australia’s brilliant Commonwealth Games gold medal haul on night three of competition.
McCulloch snatched the gold just 0.036 ahead of teammate Stephanie Morton in a blistering women’s 500m time trial at the Anna Meares velodrome.
Morton looked odds-on to claim her third GC2018 gold medal before McCulloch took top spot in a personal best time of 33.583.
“Anna Meares pulled me aside and said only a Meares girl has won this title. I want a McCulloch to win.”
“I feel like I’ve done it justice. I got into this sport because of her. To take that title tonight on her track is dream come true,” McCulloch said after winning her first individual Commonwealth gold and Australia’s fifth consecutive 500m sprint title.
Morton also smashed her PB by nearly half-a-second with 33.6 but it wasn’t enough to deny McCulloch;
“I knew she was going to pull out a big time and if you’re going to get rolled by anyone it’s (good) that it’s your own and it’s really great that we got on the top step together, and it happened in Glasgow where Anna and I went one, two.”
Sam Welsford stormed to a dramatic victory in the men’s 15km scratch race – a victory that was as much about teamwork as it was individual genius.
Teammates Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard covered constant attacks and reeled in England’s Ethan Hayter on the final lap, leaving Welsford to time his final lap sprint to perfection.
“Cam Meyer and Leigh Howard, hats off to them, they were in every move and looked after me all race. I think Australia, the whole team is so tight nit and it’s showing in the results this week.”
Jacob Schmid beat the man who toppled sprint favourite Matthew Glaetzer earlier in the day to claim men’s sprint bronze. Schmid was too good for Malaysia’s Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom, who shocked Glaetzer in the round of 16 in one of the biggest boilovers of the Gold Coast Games so far.
“You can’t top a home crowd and being able to pull this off after the year I’ve had, and last couple of years, I’m really excited and really happy,” Schmid said.
World Champion Glaetzer devastatingly crashed out in the preliminary rounds after a tactical blunder against the 16th seed from Malaysia – he was completely caught off guard when the Malaysian attacked and roared away for a stunning upset.
“The sprint is the big one and it was always going to be tough backing up last night but it was just a tactical mistake.”
“I knew I’d stuffed up and I’ll just take a moment to be disappointed and then re-group again ready for tomorrow, I won’t leave anything in the tank,” Glaetzer said.
Para-cyclist Bradley Henderson and Pilot Thomas Clarke picked up the bronze medal in the men’s Tandem Sprint, while Jessica Gallagher and pilot Maddison Janssen finished second in the women’s Tandem 1 B&VI 1000m time trial.
Team Australia’s three riders – Georgia Baker, Amy Cure and Alex Manly – missed the podium in the women’s 25km points race with Manly the best placed in fourth behind Welsh gold medallist Elinor Barker.