Rebecca Wiasak steps up to gold medal at cycling World Cup meeting
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Rebecca Wiasak steps up to gold medal at cycling World Cup meeting

INSPIRED by another world record to Olympic champion Anna Meares, Canberra's Rebecca Wiasak celebrated her own gold-medal breakthrough at the World Cup track meet in Mexico on Saturday.

Having claimed bronze at the same event last year, then silver at the Manchester World Cup just last month, Wiasak finally stepped up to the top of the podium with a personal best ride for Australia.

Success ... Rebecca Wiasak.

Success ... Rebecca Wiasak.Credit:Jeffrey Chan

Wiasak was warming up for her event when Meares became the first woman to break 33 seconds for the 500-metres time trial, with a world record 32.836 seconds.

A late call-up to ride for Australia because of an illness to a teammate, Wiasak then backed up her bronze in the team's pursuit with her first individual gold - one of four gold medals for Australia on the night.

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''Anna won her race when I was on the rollers warming-up, I got off the rollers stood up for the national anthem and that was so inspiring,'' Wiasak said.

''I was disappointed with my result in Manchester last month to lose the gold medal race … I was happy to deliver it tonight.

''I had a little cry on the podium, it was amazing to see the Australian flag raised and sing the national anthem for the first time.''

The 29-year-old is late to track cycling, having competed at elite levels in athletics and triathlon.

But her victory does not guarantee her future on the boards.

National coaches will decide in the next few weeks whether Wiasak should continue to push for one of three available spots on Australia's World Championships and Commonwealth Games teams next year, or switch to the road and pursue a time-trial position instead.

Wiasak said her preference was track, but competition on the Australian team is fierce.

''Being in the shadow squad is good because it puts me on the radar, but it's a big call for me to have to decide,'' Wiasak said.

''The hardest thing for me will be making another Australian team because there's still six endurance female riders in contention … I'm still probably number five or six. It's not good odds, but I just have to keep improving, not focus on anyone else.''

Chris Wilson is the sports editor at The Canberra Times.

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