Glaetzer roars to kilo glory at velodrome

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Ian Chadband / AAP News

 

Australia’s track cycling king matches Anna Meares OAM for the most Commonwealth Games gold medals for an Australian on the boards.

Comeback king Matt Glaetzer has achieved a glorious last-day gold on the cycling track, successfully defending his 1km time trial title despite having to use different handlebars on his bike for safety reasons.

Less than 48 hours after suffering a terrible crash at the London Olympic velodrome which left him needing splinters removed from his elbow, Glaetzer roared to his fifth Commonwealth Games gold on Sunday.

Last to go, he produced a superb power ride over the four laps to beat his Australian teammate Tom Cornish by more than half a second.

The only man to clock under the magical minute barrier, Glaetzer clocked 59.505 seconds, with Cornish left with his head in hands after the three-time Australian champion earlier clocked what looked as if it could be the winning time of 1:00.036.

But Glaetzer, who had been cruelly denied a medal in the sprint on Sunday after being relegated following victory in the bronze-medal race, produced a terrific ride, averagi ng over 60kph for the kilometre.

Matt Richardson, Australia’s sprint gold medallist, finished fourth.

AusCycling had announced just over two hours before the start of the event on Sunday’s final day of the track programme that, after exhaustive investigation, the pursuit bars on the kilo riders’ bikes might not be able to cope with their power.

So, instead, they had to use drop handlebars which, AusCycling confirmed, would result in “marginally slower times” but were necessary as a safety precaution.

“We acknowledge that this decision has created a degree of disappointment, but the riders and the broader team understand that safety is our top priority,” said AusCycling performance boss Jesse Korf.

The decision to use different bars came after the debacle at last year’s Olympics when AusCycling ended up apologising for the catastrophic equipment failure that led to Alex Porter crashing.

The handlebars of the Australian’s bike snapped during a qualifying heat of men’s team pursuit, leaving him with facial injuries after he crashed head-first into the track.

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