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World Junior Track Championships - CM
Los Angeles, USA, July 28-August 1, 2004
Junior track world's likely to surprise
The 2004 junior track world championships runs this year from July 28-August 1 at the new ADT Event Center velodrome in southern Los Angeles.
It's the second major event at the new venue, and it's hoped that hosting the junior world's this year and the senior world's in 2005 will be important steps on the path to some restoration of the host nation's significance in track racing.
That said, Australia is undoubtedly the nation to beat at the junior world's, having topped the medal table for the last few years (last year tying with Russia). Australian medal hopefuls this year include defending junior points race world champion, Miles Olman (Qld) who will be trying to claim back to back crowns and Victorian Michael Ford, the world record holder in the 3km individual pursuit.
The host nation's top medal tip is Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif.), the junior national champion in the match sprint and holder of the Pan American and U.S. 200m record.
There are always surprises at junior world's though, as riders mature so quickly between one year's competition and the next. Australian coach Gary Sutton thinks the major threats to his team's dominance will be Russia and Poland. "Russia has a very strong development program and are equal with Australia at the international junior level," said Sutton. "Poland has been producing some great sprint talent."