Track Cycling - Field and Smedley Glitter with Gold


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Field and Smedley Glitter with Gold


Field and Smedley Glitter with Gold

16th March 2012: Courtney Field (VIC) and Travis Smedley (NSW) claimed the first gold medals on offer during the afternoon session of day one of the 2012 Cycling Australia Junior Track National Championships.

A three-time national champion on the track in 2011 in the under 15 category, Field claimed her first under 17 gold in the 500m time trial final, recording a time of 37.258 for the two laps.

Field narrowly edged silver medallist Josie Talbot of New South Wales (37.396) by just one tenth of second, while Tasmania’s Macey Stewart finished a further four tenths of a second behind Talbot and claimed bronze in a time of 37.726.

Field, who set under 15 Australian records in both the time trial and flying 200m, again showed her class and poise riding a near-perfect race.

In the nail-biting final pairing, Field broke open an early lead in the first lap over Stewart and held on to post the fastest time set by Talbot in the previous heat.

Field noted her strong preparation in the lead up to the Championships was a key to today’s success.

“I’m so happy. I didn’t think I could do it but all the training, that my coach, and Carl and my team did, everyone that just supported me, really helped me work to win this title.” Field said.

One would expect Field to have felt the pressure moving up an age category, but she was unfazed with the tough competition in her first year in the under 17 category.

“I only put pressure on myself. No-one else ever puts any pressure on me,” Field said after the race.

“I’m just pushing myself to the best that I can. Hopefully that comes out with the gold and today it did,” Field added.

Not long after Field claimed her gold, dual Australian Junior track record holder Travis Smedley took the honours in the junior men’s 17 category.

In an intense final ride over fellow statesman Max Housden, Smedley was too good for his team mate, crossing the line in 33.572, narrowly outside his own Australian record of 33.530.

Only 0.05 of a second split the minor medallists, with Housden taking silver and Korea’s Jeone Park in bronze clocking times of 33.599 and 33.603 respectively.

Victoria’s Jay Castles was the only other rider from the starting field of 25 to break the 33 second barrier.

“Missed out on my record but its always this way at this time of the season,” said Smedley.“(But) hopefully, it’ll stand for a while before the next junior comes through.”

Smedley praised the growing talent pool of junior riders throughout the country, providing for great for competition.

“You know you want juniors to rival each other and become better and stronger, and that is what is making Australia great in this sport,” Smedley explained.

“(Shane) Perkins and (Jack) Bobridge all had competition when they were kids and you know look at where they are now.

“It’s great to know that there’s always competition in the under 17 men and throughout all the age groups,” he added.

Smedley’s performance again cements his strong position in junior sprinting ranks, but he expects bigger and better things for Korea’s Jeone Park.

“He’s an absolute tank. He scares a lot of the boys in the age group considering he’s younger than us and he's literally biting our heels,” said Smedley.

In other events, the under 15 sprint competition got underway for both the men and women, with the ride of the day coming from Cameron Scott (NSW) who posted an Australian record in the flying 200m qualification round.

Scott scorched around the DISC velodrome in 11.886 seconds to break the 2009 record of 11.968 held by fellow New South Welshman Michael Docker.

The sprint finals will conclude on Wednesday night.

The 2012 Cycling Australia Junior Track National Championships is being held at Melbourne's DISC Velodrome from March 14-17.

Content - Cycling Australia/Leanne Cole Photography


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