Meares salutes record-equalling Glaetzer

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Ian Chadband / AAP News

Anna Meares rarely gets star-struck enough to ask for photos – but even Australia’s emotional cycling queen was determined to get her picture taken with comeback king Matt Glaetzer.

After watching her former teammate equal her Australian record of five Commonwealth Games cycling golds, Meares had tears in her eyes as she saluted Glaetzer for his 1km time trial triumph in Monday’s final session.

“I haven’t asked for many photos with people – but I asked Matt for one with his medal tonight because I haven’t come across a human being who’s faced more challenges and been tested more, and he’s stood up every time,” double Olympic champion Meares said.

“How he’s handled himself, he should be so proud and commended for that. As a friend and former teammate, I get a little bit emotional – but I’m really, really proud of him.

“When you consider he had a heavy fall in the keirin, then got relegated from the medals after winning the (sprint) bronze last night, and that he’s come back from thyroid cancer and his coach Gary West passed away from motor neurone disease, he’s had so many challenges.

Meares, who’s in England as one of the general managers of the Australian team, added: “Look, there’s some amazing people on the Australian team and if I’m going to share that record, I’m more than happy to share it with him!

“What he’s been able to showcase through his challenges and resilience here, I hope reaches everyone at home.”

Glaetzer smiled about the idea of being the ‘comeback king’, saying, “It seems Iike I am – but I’d like to not have the lows to come back from. Still, if it comes my way, I’m going to do my best to bounce back.”

After winning gold in what he feels may well be his final Games race, Glaetzer revealed he’d been fuelled by anger after losing what he felt had been a sprint medal won fairly on Sunday.

“I rode aggressive (in the bronze-medal race against Jack Carlin), I didn’t ride to make conta ct. I knew I won it (fair) and a lot of people have said the same,” Glaetzer said.

“The commissaries just didn’t want to give it to me … I was pretty angry, to say the least.

“I kept it under wraps until the clock went to zero (at the start of 1km time trial) – and then I let the fury out.”

Asked if he felt he could possibly triumph after his crash on Saturday, he smiled, “Nothing’s impossible, mate – I think I’ve proved that time and time again.”

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