Gold may have evaded Australia’s Matt Glaetzer but he still won more admirers by claiming a gutsy silver at the Track Cycling World Cup round in Brisbane, his final meet before receiving cancer treatment.
While Australia celebrated women’s Madison gold at Anna Meares Velodrome, Glaetzer also inspired after being pipped at the finish in the Keirin medal race on Saturday night. Glaetzer dominated to win his two heats but had to settle for silver after being reeled in by fast-finishing Colombian Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro, with Czech Tomas Babek third.
The 27-year-old is showing no sign of slowing down despite receiving news that would stop many in their tracks. In late October the two-time world champion was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Yet Glaetzer opted to keep racing, quickly emerging as an inspiration for the Australian team.
Remarkably he won Keirin bronze at last weekend’s World Cup round in New Zealand – his first event since his health scare. After going one better on Saturday night, Glaetzer will contest the men’s sprint on Sunday before focusing on his treatment. He is still hopeful of contesting February’s world titles and the Tokyo Olympics.
“It’s not easy what I am doing with all this going on in the background,” Glaetzer said. “But it’s nice that teammates think what I am doing is inspiring. It’s our nature as athletes to not let obstacles get in our way and that is why I am doing.”
Meanwhile, Australia’s Georgia Baker and Annette Edmondson won Madison gold barely 24 hours after tasting team pursuit success in Brisbane. The pair combined to hold out France’s fast-finishing Clara Copponi and Marie Le Net to clinch the 30km relay event.
They finished with 56 points to pip France (51pts) while the United States (32pts) took bronze. Australia have now claimed the women’s Madison at two straight World Cups.
Baker and Edmondson were still buzzing after helping Australia win the women’s team pursuit on Friday night – the host’s opening gold of the three-day meet.
Australia now have a total of six medals including three gold before the three-day meet’s Sunday finale. Their tally was boosted on Saturday by Stephanie Morton claiming women’s sprint silver after eliminating her Australian teammate Kaarle McCulloch in the quarter-finals. Dominant world champion Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong won gold.
Australia’s Cameron Meyer finished fifth in the men’s combined four-race Omnium, won by New Zealand’s Aaron Gate.
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