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Youth Olympics Festival

Sydney, January 20-23, 2005

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Day 1 Report and Results - January 20

Dunc Gray Velodrome, Sydney, 20 January 2005

Trans Tasman Rivals share first gold at Cycling competition

Australia and New Zealand have won the first cycling gold medals contested at the Dunc Gray Velodrome with West Australian youngster, Josephine Tomic, and New Zealander Darren Shea, winning the Individual Pursuit events.

The crowd was blown away tonight with 15-year-old Tomic, who showed such composure and maturity in her winning performance against team mate Natasha Mapley, 17, from Tasmania. "My coach (Rick Lee) wanted me to stick to the time schedule he had set and I did it. It was hard, and my legs are dead, but Iím so happy with the result. I never anticipated this because I am still under 17" said Tomic trackside.

The all Australian final promised to be a close encounter with Tomic less that half a second ahead in qualifying. However, Tomic took it out early and proceeded to increase her commanding lead finishing the 2km in a time of 2 min 33.539 seconds with Mapley crossing in 2 mins 38.322 seconds. Tomic only took up cycling a year and half ago after competing in Triathlons for a year previously, but liked the cycling component and made the switch. In short, this girl looks certain to be a name for the future, and as coach Rick Lee puts it "she is an absolute star".

New Zealand Junior champion Rushlee Buchanan claimed the bronze medal in her showdown with Australian Laura Meisel-Dennis, taking the event in a time of 2 mins 37.105 seconds. The gold medal ride off in the Menís Individual Pursuit was an exciting one with Kiwi Shea setting the pace early against West Australian Cameron Meyer. However, Meyer fought back to be touched out by a mere 0.177 seconds. Both riders set world class times of 3 mins 29.842 seconds and 3 mins 29.665 seconds respectively for the 3km circuit.

New Zealand's Head Coach Lyndon Cooney was more than happy with Shea and Goughís performances tonight. "Iím very happy to get first and third in the individual pursuit. It shows we are doing things right in New Zealand. The boy's times were world standard and this will give them lots of confidence for future events."

The quarter finals for the Sprint event were contested tonight, with lone Australian Jennifer Loutit moving into the femi finals seeded third behind the top two Chinese Riders, Jianjian Zhang and Haili Geng, who will definitely prove hard to beat. To make matters worse, Loutit is competing with a broken wrist after a fall in late December; "thankfully it doesnít hurt during the race, just afterwards," explained Loutit. In the Menís quarter finals, two Australian and two Japanese riders made it through to tomorrowís semi finals. Aussie pair Scott Sunderland (WA) and Daniel Ellis (ACT) are seeded first and second respectively, and will have to fight off the very fast Ryota Kataori and Akihito Nakano of Japan for the medals.

In other racing, the heats of the Menís and Womenís Scratch Race were held, with Australia claiming 16 of the 24 spots on offer for tomorrowís Womenís final. Skye-Lee Armstrong (NSW) showed why she is one of the favourites to take out the event, finishing in the fastest heat time of 6 mins 51.213 seconds for the 5km race. In the Menís it was Cameron Meyer (WA) who set the pace, backing up from his silver medal winning ride in the individual pursuit some half an hour earlier. Meyer posted the quickest time for the 7.5km circuit - 8 min 57.14 seconds, and leads the charge of the 12 Aussie Men competing in tomorrow's final. Day two of competition sees the finals for the Menís and Womenís Time Trial, Sprint and Scratch events held from 2pm Friday 21 January.

Australian Endurance Head Coach, Ian McKenzie, was impressed with the talent he has seen at this competition, stating: "There is really good depth here. Iíve been impressed with a few of our athletes. This competition is a great stepping stone for these athletes and for us to identify potential stars of the future."

Australian Head Junior Coach, Gary Sutton, was also impressed with the performances on the night and the Australian Youth Olympics Fsetival overall - "Everyone lifts themselves for an International competition so itís a wonderful opportunity to see what they can produce on the track".

South African cyclist Bertram Siebritz, stated that "It took us 21 hours to get here but it was well worth the trip. This is my first time to Australia and it is great". So it looks like the coaches are happy, the athletes are happy, and there will definitely be plenty of proud parents by Sunday.


Men's Individual Pursuit Final
1 Darren Shea (Nzl)          
2 Cameron Meyer (WA)         
3 Wesley Gough (Nzl)         
4 Mitchell Pearson (NSW) 

Women's Individual Pursuit Final
1 Josephine Tomic (WA)      
2 Natasha Mapley (Tas)               
3 Rushlee Buchanan (Nzl)             
4 Laura Meisel-Dennis (ACT)          
Men's Individual Pursuit 3000m Qualifying
1 Darren Shea (NZL)                    3.26.15
2 Cameron Meyer (WA)                   3.27.29
3 Wesley Gough (NZL)                   3.29.57
4 Mitchell Pearson (NSW)               3.32.09
5 Masato Tsuchiya (JPN)                3.32.59
6 Todd Dawson (Qld)                    3.33.21
7 Michael Northey (NZL)                3.33.18
8 Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (NSW)         3.34.06
9 Satoshi Azuma (JPN)                  3.34.33
10 Mario Giramondo (VIC)               3.35.10
11 Reona Sumi (JPN)                    3.35.25
12 Hayden Josefski (Qld)               3.36.07
13 Matthew Pettit (NSW)                3.37.18
14 Adam O'Connor (WA)                  3.38.32
15 Shota Kajiwara (JPN)                3.43.10
16 Amir Mustafa Rusli (MAS)            3.44.21
17 Jean-Noel Royer (NCAL)              3.45.10
18 Lee Houssaye (VIC)                  3.45.45
19 Edward Petney (SA)                  3.46.21
20 Greg Thompson (RSA)                 3.47.17
21 Bertram Siebritz (RSA)              3.47.20
22 Kevin Maitere (NCAL)                3.50.15
23 Aaron Jones (Tas)                   3.50.02
24 Gergory Lemaitre (NCAL)             3.51.05
25 Shaun Morris (VIC)                  3.53.05
Women's Individual Pursuit 2000m Qualifying
1 Josephine Tomic (WA)                   2.32.09
2 Natasha Mapley (Tas)                   2.33.02
3 Rushlee Buchanan (NZL)                 2.35.09
4 Laura Meisel-Dennis (ACT)              2.36.01
5 Tiffany Cromwell (SA)                  2.36.06
6 Grace Sulzberger (Tas)                 2.40.03
7 Rebecca Macpherson (WA)                2.41.05
8 Jessica Mccallum (WA)                  2.41.08
9 Heidi Kirk (WA)                        2.42.06
10 Aude Salmon (NCAL)                    2.42.07
11 Natasha Buck (NZL)                    2.42.08
12 Antonia Restall (NZL)                 2.44.03
13 Jessica Tanner (Vic)                  2.44.07
14 Marnelize Olivier (RSA)               2.45.04
15 Naomi Adams (NSW)                     2.46.01
16 Joanna Von Berky (Qld)                2.51.01
17 Noor Fazillah Jamaludin (MAS)         2.52.06