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Track team pedalling forward to Tokyo

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NOTE – This story was written prior to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games, but rather than remove it, we feel it important to still recognise the selection of our Commonwealth Games alumni in the Tokyo cycling team.

 

Twelve of the fifteen members of the Australian track cycling team named for the Tokyo Olympic Games were members of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games team that dominated the Anna Meares Velodrome in 2018.

The team for Tokyo 2020, features Gold Coast team pursuit gold medallists Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW), Amy Cure (TAS) and Annette Edmondson (SA) and Leigh Howard (SA), Kelland O’Brien (VIC), Alex Porter (SA) and Sam Welford (SA.)

The men’s quartet set a new world record at the Games, slicing through the 3:50 barrier for the first time to stop the clock at 3mins 49.8 secs.

 

Speedster Stephanie Morton collected three gold in 2018 (keirin, sprint and team sprint) including Australia’s 100th gold medal in cycling at the Commonwealth Games, and fellow sprinters Matthew Glaetzer (1km time trial and keirin) and Kaarle McCulloch (500m time trial and team sprint) won dual gold.

Ankudinoff competed in Delhi 2010 and the Gold Coast, whilst Cure, Edmondson, Glaetzer and McCulloch competed in both Glasgow and the Gold Coast.

Howard, O’Brien and Porter will make their Olympic debuts after achieving Gold Coast success as part of the crack team pursuit combination.

Edmondson and Glaetzer return for their third Olympic Games, whilst McCulloch returns to the Olympics after competing in London in 2012, but she missed the Rio Games in 2016. She returned to win two gold a silver and bronze medals on the Gold Coast, continuing to emphasise the importance of the Commonwealth Games in shaping Australia’s elite sporting landscape.

Matthew Glaetzer’s selection marks an important milestone, with the sprinter undergoing surgery for thyroid cancer at the end of 2019.

Australian Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 Ian Chesterman welcomed the cyclists to the Australian Olympic Team, acknowledging the current unprecedented uncertainty around international sport.

“Athletes have waited four years, and in some cases longer, for this opportunity,” Mr Chesterman said.

“We are in unchartered waters, but we want to set a course to ensure they can prepare for the Games in the best possible environment and they can get to the Games safely. Part of that process is to announce athletes as they are nominated and selected to the Australian Olympic Team.

“Australian track cyclists have a phenomenal Olympic legacy and I want to congratulate the fifteen athletes selected today to continue that tradition.

“This is the result of more than a decade of unrelenting hard work by our athletes and it is worth celebrating. This is an achievement for the athletes, the whole Cycling Australia team, coaches, family, friends and supporters.”

2019 World Champion, London 2012 bronze medallist and three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kaarle McCulloch was proud to be selected for her second Games, just weeks after she secured a 2020 world championships team sprint silver with Stephanie Morton off limited preparation.

“The dream I had when I was 12 watching the Sydney Olympics with my dad feels as real as yesterday,” McCulloch said.

“I’ve always had the Olympic spirit within me and I’m ecstatic to be able to be back competing.

“My motto into the world championships was “perfect preparation doesn’t predict”. This is the same kind of attitude I’ll be taking with me into Tokyo amidst all the uncertainty and nervousness in the world right now.

“Nothing changes for me in terms of my application to my training but a lot is changing in the way we train. As athletes, we are role models for everyone for health. We are taking quite serious steps in our training to ensure we are being responsible athletes but also people. We are following all the guidelines as set out by our medical professionals and we are prepared to face this challenge.

“We as humans are facing a challenge but we have also shown we are able to overcome. The world will recover from this and I believe everyone has within them part of the Olympic spirit, this is why the Olympics are so special – it brings the world together when we need it the most,” McCulloch said.

2020 Australian Olympic Track Cycling Team

Name Events Age State Olympic Games Experience Commonwealth Games Experience
Ashlee Ankudinoff Endurance 29 NSW 2nd (2026) 2018- Gold - Team Pursuit
2010 - Team member
Georgia Baker Endurance 25 TAS 2nd (2016) 2018 - Team Member
Amy Cure Endurance 27 SA 2nd (2016) 2018 - Gold - Team Pursuit, Scratch Race
2014 - Silver - Scratch Race; Bronze - Individual Pursuit
Annette Edmondson Endurance 28 SA 3rd (2012, 2016) 2018 - Gold - Team Pursuit; Bronze - Individual Pursuit
2014 - Gold - Scratch Race; Silver - Individual Pursuit
Matthew Glaetzer Sprint 27 SA 3rd (2012, 2016) 2018 - Gold - 1km Time Trial, Keirin; Bronze - Team Sprint
Nathan Hart Sprint 27 SA 2nd (2016) 2018 - Bronze - Team Sprint
Leigh Howard Endurance 30 SA Debut 2018 - Gold - Team Pursuit
Kaarle McCulloch Sprint 32 NSW 2nd (2012) 2018 - Gold - 500m Time Trial, Team Sprint; Silver - Keirin; Bronze - Sprint
2010 - Gold - Team Sprint; Silver - 500m Time Trial
Stephanie Morton Sprint 29 SA 2nd (2016) 2018 - Gold - Keirin, Sprint, Team Sprint; Silver - 500m Time Trial
2014 - Gold - Sprint; Silver - 500m Time Trial
Kelland O'Brien Endurance 21 VIC Debut 2018 - Gold - Team Pursuit
Lucas Plapp Endurance 19 SA Debut
Maeve Plouffe Endurance 20 SA Debut
Alexander Porter Endurance 23 SA Debut 2018 - Gold - Team Pursuit
Matthew Richardson Sprint 20 SA Debut
Sam Welsford Endurance 24 SA 2nd (2016) 2018 - Gold - Team Pursuit, Scratch Race

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Australian Medal Tally

Australia finished the Gold Coast 2018 cycling program with 19 medals overall: 10 gold, three silver and six bronze.

GOLD

Women’s Team Pursuit – Annette EDMONSON, Amy CURE, Alex MANLY, Ashlee ANKUDINOFF

Men’s Team Pursuit – Kell O’BRIEN, Leigh HOWARD, Alex PORTER, Sam WELSFORD and Jordan KERBY

Men’s Keirin – Matt GLAETZER

Women’s Sprint – Stephanie MORTON

Women’s Team Sprint – Kaarle MCCULLOCH and Stephanie MORTON

Women’s 500m Time Trial – Kaarle MCCULLOCH

Men’s 15km Scratch Race – Sam WELSFORD

Men’s 1000m Time Trial – Matthew GLAETZER

Women’s Keirin – Steph MORTON

Women’s 10km Scratch Race – Amy CURE

 

SILVER

Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit – Rebecca WIASAK

Women’s 500m Time Trial – Stephanie MORTON

Women’s Keirin – Kaarle MCCULLOCH

 

BRONZE

Men’s B&VI Sprint – Brad HENDERSON, Tom CLARKE (pilot)

Men’s B&VI 1000m Time Trial – Brad Henderson, Tom CLARKE (pilot)

Men’s Team Sprint – Patrick CONSTABLE, Nathan HART and Matt GLAETZER

Men’s Sprint – Jacob SCHMID

Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit – Annette EDMONDSON

Women’s Sprint – Kaarle MCCULLOCH

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