Team Scotland collected a further four medals on a stellar third day of Track Cycling at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane.
A second gold medal for Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham, this time in the Men’s B&VI sprint, was followed by silver and bronze medals for Katie Archibald and Neah Evans in the Women’s 25km Scratch race, before Jack Carlin completed the haul with the night’s second silver, in the Men’s Sprint.
Carlin, who finished just outside the medals in yesterday’s Kierin, said: “It [finishing fourth] gave me hunger to try get a good finish today. Competing for Team Scotland has been a dream of mine ever since I was sitting in the stands at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. “I said ‘I want to be there one day’, and now I have a medal to show that I was.”
Tandem pairing Fachie and Rotherham made a statement of intent early on when they qualified in a world record time, completing the 200m lap in 9.568 seconds, before cruising through the best-of-three heats unscathed. In the final they again won the first two races to complete their domination of the 2018 event.
Fachie, who successfully defended his double gold from Glasgow 2014, showed no signs of letting up and said: “We really, really train hard, and the results speak for themselves. We’ve done really well and who knows where we can go if we keep pushing those boundaries. We’re way ahead of where we expected to be time-wise at this stage, so who knows what the future may hold.”
Three of Team Scotland’s women’s riders then entered the fray in the Women’s 25km Points Race, with 23 athletes on the track in a straight final.
Katie Archibald and Neah Evans were in the mix throughout, however the efforts made by Welsh World Champion Eilnor Barker to lap the field for a 20-point bonus proved to be the difference. Despite the Scots’ efforts to reel her in as the race progressed, finishing behind Barker (40 points) on 20 and 17 points respectively
Archibald, who added silver to the Women’s Individual Pursuit gold she collected yesterday, was measured in her post-race assessment.
“I think the issue was in the first half of the race. I thought I didn’t have it in me. We [herself and Neah] went into it wanting to go one/two.”
Featuring in her first Commonwealth Games, Evans was pleased to pick up the bronze and earn a place among the night’s celebrants.
“It was hard work. I knew, having trained with the other guys, that I was there or thereabouts, but it’s always hard to prove that in a competition, so I’m really happy to come away with a bronze medal. You go in with half an idea of what you’d like but you’ve got to be adaptable and go with the race and see how it flows out.
“Watching the other members [of Team Scotland] going out and winning medals, it’s quite an electric atmosphere, so to come and actually win a medal myself is huge.”
Team Scotland’s third rider in the race, Eileen Roe, didn’t score and finished among the chasing pack.
It was then the turn of young speedster, Carlin, to light up the track with some excellent racing, first by registering a Games record of 9.650 and progressing to the next round as the second fastest, after Australian Matt Glaetzer bettered the Scotsman’s run in 9.583.
In the quarter-final Englishman Joseph Truman won the opening sprint before Carlin responded with back-to-back triumphs to progress to the semi-final, where he would defeat Australia’s Jacob Schmid two-nil. That win secured his place in the race for gold, but he was edged out by +0.429 and +0.005 seconds in the first two races to end the night as runner-up, but he has a bright future ahead of him.
Elsewhere all three of Team Scotland’s riders progressed through to the finals of the Men’s 15km Scratch Race but finished outside the medals, Mark Stewart seventh, John Archibald 8th and Kyle Gordon 11th.
Another race and another magnificent personal best (1:08.993) was still not enough for Ailieen McGlynn and Louise Haston in the Women’s B&VI 1000m Time Trial.
Tomorrow sees the qualifying rounds of the Men’s 40km Points Race get underway at 15:47hrs (08:47hrs UK time), with Archibald, Gordon and Stewart all involved. The Men’s 1000m Time Trial follows at 16:47hrs (09:47hrs UK time), with Callum Skinner and Jonathan Wale taking to the boards. It’s then the turn of the women to get in on the action, with Neah Evans, Eileen Roe and, Katie Archibald all competing in the Women’s 10km Scratch Race Final at 20:19hrs (11:19hrs UK time).