New Zealand’s Dylan Kennett will race for gold tonight after smashing the national junior individual pursuit record in qualifying at the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Invercargill this afternoon.
The 17-year-old from Waimate clocked a time of 3:16:467 over the 3000m distance to be the second fastest qualifier of the field of 26 riders at Stadium Southland Velodrome.
“It was a great time, especially because it’s always hard to go really, really fast in the morning session,” said New Zealand coach Ross Machejefski.
“I’ve seen him hop round pretty fast in the days leading up to this but he went faster than we expected.”
Kennett will go head-to-head with Tom Bohli from Switzerland later tonight in pursuit of New Zealand’s first gold medal at the championships. The Swiss rider was just 0.3s faster than the kiwi in qualifying with Australia’s Alexander Morgan just 25/100ths of a second behind in third.
“Obviously Bohli is a phenomenal rider and we knew he was going to be quick. It’s going to be a great showdown so Kenny will go out there and give it all he’s got.
The previous New Zealand record holder, Te Awamutu cyclist Hayden McCormick, missed out on the medal rounds by just two spots after posting a time of 3:20:480 to finish sixth fastest.
In the women’s keirin, both Paige Paterson from Auckland and Southland’s Kate Dunlevey have advanced to tonight’s semifinals after solid performances in today’s qualifying session.
The 12 riders qualified include two each from Russia, Australia, USA and New Zealand, as well as one each from Malaysia, Belgium, Netherlands and Colombia.
Australian superstar Taylah Jennings continued her domination of the women’s omnium as she won the 2000m individual pursuit in a time of 2:25:270. With two events remaining in the six-leg competition, Jennings sits seven points clear of Elinor Barker (GBR) in second place. Auckland’s Racquel Sheath is currently in fourth position, just one point behind Gulnaz Badykova (RUS).
Day 4 results:
Men’s 3000m individual pursuit qualifying: Tom Bohli (SUI) 3:16.139, 1; Dylan Kennett (NZL) 3:16.467, 2; Alexander Morgan (AUS) 3:16.718, 3; Jon Dibben (GBR) 3:18.312, 4. Also: Hayden McCormick (NZL) 3:20.480, 6.
Women’s Keirin qualifying (top two to semifinals, rest to repechage) Heat 1: Jennifer Valente (USA) 1, Allee Proud (AUS) 2, Kate Dunlevey (NZL) 3. Heat 2: Daria Shmeleva (RUS) 1, Martha Bayona Pineda (COL) 2, Aline Tamez Vela (MEX) 3. Heat 3: Caitlin Ward (AUS) 1, Paige Paterson (NZL) 2, Lidia Pluzhnikova (RUS) 3.
Repechage (top 3 qualify), Heat 1: Lidia Pluzhnikova (RUS) 1, Kate Dunlevey (NZL) 2, Ummi Mohamad (MAS) 3. Heat 2: Elis Ligtlee (NED) 1, Shana Dalving (BEL) 2, Chloe Chepigin (USA) 3.
Women’s omnium, individual pursuit: Taylah Jennings (AUS) 2:25.270, 1; Elinor Barker (GBR) 2:26.370, 2; Racquel Sheath (NZL) 2:28.579, 3.
Standings after 4 rounds: Jennings 4, Barker 11, Gulnaz Badykova (RUS) 15 , Sheath 16.