The Auckland pair of Stephanie McKenzie and Henrietta Mitchell grabbed New Zealand’s first medal on the track at the UCI World Junior Championships in Italy today.
McKenzie and Mitchell won the silver medal in the women’s team sprint after breaking the world record in their qualifying run at Montichiari Velodrome.
The girls clocked 35.963 to break the world mark before the Russian combination bettered that time by 8/10ths of a second.
The Russian pair went faster again in the medal ride-off, lowering the world record to 35.029 but the New Zealanders also managed to go quicker with their effort of 35.708 enough to pip Australia for the silver.
Mitchell will be able to put her silver medal alongside her Commonwealth Games bound brother Ethan, who won the junior world team sprint gold medal last year in Moscow.
Earlier McKenzie was seventh in the women’s 500m time trial with Mitchell 12th in solid rides less than a second off the winner Hyelin Lee (KOR).
The boy’s combination of Alex Frame, Will Bowman (both Christchurch), Pieter bulling (Invercargill) and Brad Evans (Dunedin) were edged out of a medal in the bronze ride-off in the 3000m team pursuit.
The quartet was third fastest in qualifying with a 4:11.202 just behind times of Great Britain and Australia.
They drew Germany in the bronze ride-off and while the kiwis were able to improve, the powerful Europeans produced a stunning 4:08.837 to take the final spot on the podium.
Auckland riders Alexandra Neems (Auckland) and Georgia Williams managed new best times finishing eighth (2:28.611) and 10th (2:30.340) fastest respectively in the 2000m individual pursuit won by Australia’s Amy Cure in a new world record 2:22.499.
In other rides Evans was ninth and Fraser Gough 24th in the 3000m individual pursuit, Andrew Van der Hayden (Christchurch) 13th in the scratch race, and Elizabeth Steel (Christchurch) 13th in the points race.