Para-Sport Cycling pair Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham won Team Scotland’s first gold medal of the Games as they took victory in the 1000m Time Trial in record-breaking time on the opening night in the velodrome.
Fachie and new pilot Rotherham rattled round the track in 1.00.065 seconds, almost two seconds faster than the previous Games record set by Fachie and Craig MacLean to win gold at Glasgow 2014.
The pair arrived in Australia fresh from delivering a stunning double world gold-winning performance in Brazil, and their World Champion status earned the Scottish pair the opportunity to be the last to register their 1000m time – save for a Malaysian ‘mechanical’ that saw them return to the track after the Scots for a re-run.
This meant Fachie and Rotherham looked on as their Australian opponents piled on the pressure with a Games’ record of their own before the Scots took to the track.
Fachie said: “As soon as I’d heard they’d broken the Games record, which was mine from four years ago, I knew we had a job on our hands. Fair play, they have really stepped it up from a couple of weeks ago at the World Champs.
“Winning at a home Games was really immense and I’m just delighted to have had the opportunity to come and defend it here and to actually do it. We had to bring our A game today but we got it done and I’m so, so happy with that. We got to see the Triathlon earlier, where we picked up our first medal. We were cheering that on back in the village, so that was great motivation.”
Earlier in the day Team Scotland’s women’s pair Louise Haston and Aileen McGlynn posted an excellent personal best time of 11.153s in the 200m qualifying lap for their B&VI Sprint.
Despite their heroics they were ultimately out-paced by their Australian and English opponents, the latter registering a World Record of 10.609 in the process.
With just three entrants in the contest, Haston and McGlynn didn’t get the opportunity to put their tactics on the track in the Sprint because the three-way qualifier went to a straight gold medal shoot-out for the sole medal on offer.
Team Scotland’s Olympic medallists Katie Archibald and Callum Skinner are among the six cyclists taking to the track tomorrow. Archibald will make the first Scottish appearance at 13:26hrs (04:26hrs UK time) in the Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit qualifying round, before the men enter the fray.
Endurance riders John Archibald, Kyle Gordon and Mark Stewart are next into the velodrome from 15:25hrs (06:25am UK time), as they begin the qualification process for the Men’s 4000m Individual Pursuit. The evening session will see sprinters Jack Carlin and Callum Skinner join the action from 19:00hrs (10:02 UK time) as the heats for the Men’s Keirin get underway.