Former Olympic short track speed skater, Emily Rosemond, tonight posted a world class time to anchor Queensland to the gold medal in the women’s team sprint at the Australian Track Cycling Championships at Sydney’s Dunc Gray Velodrome.

Rosemond, 21, rode second wheel behind Kerrie Meares, who has won gold in the event every year since it’s introduction in 2002. On four of those occasions she was teamed with her sister Anna. But with Anna sidelined due to injuries sustained in a crash at the recent Los Angeles World Cup, Rosemond stepped up for her first Australian Championships event and posted two sub-15 second rides to ensure Queensland’s unbroken run of team sprint success.

Rosemond’s lap times are comparable to those ridden by the top five second wheel riders at last year’s World Championships and mark her as a cyclist to watch.

?I am just speechless,” said the 21 year old who has been track cycling for just six months. “This is just great, I didn’t expect this, its beyond my wildest dreams and it’s just an honour to ride with Kerrie.”

Meares was more than happy to lead out the emerging speedster who at the Torino Winter Olympic Games in 2006 skated through to the quarter finals in the 1000m event.

“All credit to Emily, I mean that ride was amazing,” said Meares after the final in which the Queenslander’s rode 34.797sec to defeat the New South Wales pair of Kaarle McCulloch and Cassandra Kell (35.098sec). The bronze medal was won by South Australian U19 riders Annette Edmondson and Stephanie Morton in a time of 36.330sec.

In the men’s kilometre time trial Victorian Joel Leonard finally won the gold after three consecutive years of silver medal performances in the event.

Leonard, a Melbourne dental technician, rode a personal best time of 1min02.890sec, just six hundredths of a second outside Shane Kelly’s Championship record, to win gold ahead of Queensland’s Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (1min03:911sec) with fellow Victorian Steven Sansonetti (1min05.057sec) claiming bronze.

“I have always been competitive for the past few years, I mean Ben Kersten and I have been slogging it out for the past three and it’s always been really close,” said Leonard who has finished second to Kersten since 2005. “I have always wanted the title, but never quite got there so this is just great.”

Leonard admits he would have liked to been up against six time winner Kersten, who is not competing at the Championships due to illness, but that takes none of the gloss of his victory.

“It would have been great for him to be here for extra competition and to see where I am at, but I know that now, because I rode a PB, it was a great ride and I am really happy with that,” he added.

In the men’s 4km individual pursuit, Tasmania’s Mark Jamieson claimed the title for the fourth time since 2003 defeating first year senior, Leigh Howard from Victoria, in the gold medal final. The 23 year old rode 4min25.400sec to finish more than two seconds faster than Howard who claimed the silver medal in 4min27.502sec. The bronze medal ride off was won by Victorian Zakkari Dempster (4min27.502sec).

“To ride that time and also with World (Championships) selection on the line, it’s a big thing for me this week,” said Jamieson. “Both tonight’s win and the teams pursuit win at the LA world Cup are both crucial factors and I have proven that I can be worthy of the time and ride the Manchester Worlds (March 26-30) with my head held high.”

Jamieson also realises competition for coveted Olympic Games places in the teams pursuit is going to be fierce and wants to ensure he impresses every time her steps on the track.

“With (reigning Olympic Chamions) (Luke) Roberts, (Graeme) Brown and (Brad) McGee all coming back it’s a no holes barred game at the moment,” said Jamieson. “They are trying to take back spots they had and we are trying to take their spots, so its going to be tough.”

West Australian, Josephine Tomic stepped up to the senior ranks with apparent ease to win the women’s 3km individual pursuit crown. The 18 year old, who won three gold medals at last year’s junior World Championships and holds the junior World Record over 2000m, made light work of the extra kilometre overtaking her Victorian opponent, Tess Downing, on the final lap of the gold medal ride to record a time of 3min41.953sec, almost 10 seconds faster than Downing’s silver medal time of 3min51.365sec.

“I am really happy,” said Tomic. “My first senior title is great, though I would have liked to do a sub three minutes 40.

“That extra kilometre, it doesn’t sound like much, but it really takes its toll (and) hopefully next time I do it I will do a sub 3.40,” she added.

In the U19 women’s 2km individual pursuit Western Australia’s Sarah Kent won gold with a time more than eight seconds faster than silver medallist Ashlee Andkudinoff (NSW).

Kent, who was the silver medallist behind Tomic at last year’s Junior World and Australian Championships, rode a time of 2min25.911sec compared with Andkudinoff’s 2min34.510sec. 16 year old Megan Dunn (NSW), who last month became the youngest rider to win Victoria’s Bay Criterium Series in the 19 year history of the event, showed she also has promise on the track claiming the bronze medal (2min39.212sec).

In the U19 men’s individual pursuit, South Australian Rohan Dennis rode a blistering time in the gold medal final to cover the 3km in 3min18.701sec, just one second shy of the world record set by Victorian Michael Ford on the same track in 2004. Luke Davison took the silver medal (3min27.181sec), with West Australian Luke Durbridge winning ride off for bronze (3min27.125sec).


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