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World Junior Track Cycling Championships - CDM

Australia, August 21-25 2002

2001 Results    Preview     Team numbers    Past winners

Day 1 - August 21, 2002: Wrap Up

Golden hair = golden medals for Australia

By Karen Forman in Melbourne

The first gold medals of the 2002 World Junior Track Cycling Championships were decided yesterday, with Australian riders Mark Jamieson and Mark French winning gold in the individual pursuit and keirin, respectively, while Italy's Elisa Frisconi won the gold in women's keirin.

For the Australian men at least, it was two gold medals for a golden-haired team, as the men are all sporting platinum blond-dyed hairstyles. Jonny Clarke, Wade Cosgrove, Sean Finning, French, Jamieson, Bradley Norton, Christopher Pascoe, Nicholas Sanderson, Alex Sommer and Christopher Sutton - all have the same colour hair, straight out of a dye bottle.

It seems their choice of colour has a lot to do with the colour of the hair of coach, Gary Sutton.

"The Australian team always dye their hair blond, but this year we were trying to look more like Gary," Jamieson explained. "It's kind of...well....not quite blonde, you know?"

French apparently was the first to "go" then the others followed suit. "The team has been doing it for the past four to five years and this year nobody wanted to do it at first," he said. "Then I did it and the rest followed. We wanted it to be the same colour as Sutto."

The question is, is the grey/white hair of the team's erstwhile coach attributable to his work coaching the team? If so, after two gold medals on the first night, he is thinking it could have been worthwhile.

"People have been calling me the Norwegian coach," he said with a laugh. "But if you want to know why they did it, then you will have to ask the boys."

Around 700 people attended the evening session which featured three finals and a glamorous (for cycling) opening ceremony. The ceremony featured the Victorian Police Band in full uniform, playing an unexpectedly rocky but apt song from Pink, Get The Party Started.

There was the obligatory official welcome from Justin Madden, the Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation as well as a colourful modern dance display, a flag raising ceremony and a spectacular presentation of the flags of each competing country by children riding around the base of the track on miniature track bikes.

Twenty five women and 98 men from 25 countries including Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Columbia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA, Venezuela, Italy, China and the Ukraine are taking part in the event at Vodafone Arena.

For the first time, the keirin is being featured at the World Junior Track Cycling Championships.

Today's early afternoon session took care of the qualifying and repechages and semi final for men's and women's keirin and the men's individual pursuit first round. The evening session featured the individual pursuit and men's and women's keirin finals.

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