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Australian Youth Olympics Festival

Sydney, January 20-23, 2005

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Day 4 Report and Results - January 23

Dunc Gray Velodrome, Sydney, 23 January 2005

Final day of cycling cancelled as Sydney soaks

Severe thunderstorm warnings across Sydney gave event organisers at the cycling competition little choice but to cancel todayís final event of the competition.

The highly competitive Criterium event was set to be one of the highlights of the four days of cycling competition, but safety of the young riders had to take priority. "We had to put the safety of the riders first" said Chief Commissaire, Garry House. "Unfortunately the conditions are just too dangerous to go ahead. It is a tight tough course, we just couldnít take the risk".

After three days of cycling track competition, the 45-strong Australian team finished on top of the medal tally with nine Gold, ten Silver and six Bronze. China was next best, winning two Gold and one Silver, with New Zealand winning six medals all together - one Gold and five Bronze. Australian Head Junior Coach Gary Sutton was overawed by the level of competition shown at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

"The standard of our young cyclists coming through is exceptional" stated Sutton. "The impressive thing for me has been that the high standard across the board, in all events. Australia has always been great in the endurance events, but now our performances in the sprint events has improved dramatically. Itís a sign of great things to come over the next couple of years for Australian cycling. It is very exciting."

The New Zealand camp had nothing but praise for the event, with coach Lyndon Cooney labelling it "an excellent experience for not only the athletes but for all coaches." Cooney continued "It has been great to touch base with other coaches from around the world and swap ideas. We have now seen where the level is at in international competition, and it has helped us answer some of the questions as to why Australia is so good." Our young Australian cyclists must now prepare themselves for the National Titles in Adelaide in two weeks time, where they will be trying for a spot in the Australian team to compete at the World Junior Championships. held in Austria in August.