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Track crosses finish line with two Top 10s

17 August 2016

CYCLING - TRACK: Annette Edmondson had a podium finish within her reach coming in to the sixth and final event of the women's omnium but a missed move meant she finished the event eighth overall.

The London 2012 bronze medallist came into the points race in fourth position overall, but the South Australian was unable to build momentum, or then catch a break when she needed it.

After a draining start to her Rio 2016 track campaign marred by a terrifying crash in training for her women's team pursuit team mates - and an eventual fifth place in that event - Edmondon steeled her nerves but it was not enough and she finished with 168 points, 62 pts behind gold medallist Laura Trott (GBR).

"I think it was a combination (of things) – I missed a move and I should have been more onto it, I think I was just trying to… I don’t know," she said.

"I had to try to make up for it and everything I tried after that was marked and I couldn’t get away when I needed to.

"It’s really hard but that’s just the way it is. You win some you lose some and unfortunately this was the biggest."

The tenacious rider mustered her strength and kept her eyes on the three competitors ahead of her: Trott, Sarah Hammer (USA) and Jolien D'Hoore (BEL). But the trio quickly got away, and eventually claimed the podium in that order.

After the first three events in the six-event competition which were held on Monday, 2015 world champion Edmondson sat in seventh position on 90pts, 18pts behind event leader Trott. 

In front of her parents and brother Alex who won silver earlier in the week, Edmondson clawed her way back up the rankings and into medal contention with superb results in the first two events held on Tuesday. She posted a win in round four with the fastest the individual time trial of the day, before a second place in the flying lap.

Heading into the final event – the points race – Edmondson sat just four points behind D’Hoore and Hammer who were tied for second.

"I was in fourth position so obviously I had to be aggressive instead of defensive so it would have helped to have a few more points," Edmondson said.

"But I gave it a crack and I just couldn’t pull it off today.

"In hindsight I maybe would have sat on my opposition and just chipped away at points but if everyone used hindsight everyone would get better."

Edmondson conceded it was a disppointing result for the Australian track team in what had been a challenging six days of competition.

She said the multiple crashes and near medal finishes were all part of the sport, but would certainly give the team something to consider upon returning to Australia.

"I think it’s just disappointing really. As a cycling nation we’re pretty good and so for us not to come home with a gold medal is hard," she said.

"We’re going to have to go back to the drawing board and see what it is we can do better.

"I think that’s something Australia’s really good at doing, that’s bouncing back from adversity and even though we had a bit of bad luck we still gave it everything and we didn’t let go of that dream.

"And so I know that given everything that happened we gave it every opportunity to do our best and unfortunately our best wasn’t enough this time."

Matthew Glaetzer’s second Olympic campaign came to a close with the powerful South Australian narrowly missing the keirin final.

Glaetzer, who was just one step off the podium in fourth in both the team sprint and sprint earlier in the week – powered to tenth overall after finishing fourth in the 7-12 place final.

“That’s why Olympic medals are so special, because they’re so hard to win," Glaetzer said.

"Having missed out twice now, it’s not easy to take but I gave it everything, I was happy with my racing, didn’t make any huge mistakes which is the big key, laid it all out there but it wasn’t enough to get on the podium."

Earlier in the day, Glaetzer looked strong in his first round heat, comfortably finishing in the top two riders (behind Damien Zalienski) to move straight through to the second round. In the second round, Glaetzer entered the home straight in the top three, however he was overhauled in the dying metres by Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang who edged him on the line by the narrowest of margins.

“In the semi final I rode exactly how I planned to I just couldn’t hold on in the end," he said.

Constable – the youngest rider in the 27-strong field – finished fifth in his first round heat which sent him to the repechage round. There the might of four-time world champion Michael D’Almeida was just too much as he finished fifth. 

Australia concluded the six-day, ten-event track competition with two medals. The men’s team pursuit won silver behind great Britain’s world record setting outfit, while Anna Meares claimed a brilliant bronze medal which made her Australia’s most decorated Olympic cyclist in history with six medals.

The team also finished just off the podium in three events, with fourth in both the men’s and women’s team sprints, and fourth in the men’s sprint via Glaetzer.

Amy McCann


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