Rebecca Wiasak wins gold on debut at track world championships

Rebecca Wiasak wins gold on debut at track world championships

Paris: What a difference a day makes.

Rebecca Wiasak has won gold in the 3000m individual pursuit at the track cycling world championships in Paris just 24 hours after sitting on the sidelines as her teammates smashed the world record to win the team pursuit title.

Rebecca Wiasak (left) with third-placed Australian Amy Cure on the podium.

Rebecca Wiasak (left) with third-placed Australian Amy Cure on the podium.Credit:AFP

The 30-year-old set a national record of 3 minutes 27.018 seconds in qualifying on Friday (Saturday morning AEDT) in her first appearance at a world champs.

She then posted 3:30.305 to beat the USA's Jennifer Valente in the gold-medal race by 3.5 seconds.


Fellow Aussie Amy Cure, a member of the gold-medal winning team pursuit quartet on Thursday, rode 3:32.907 to win individual bronze by almost four seconds over defending champion Joanna Roswell of Great Britain.

Wiasak, the oldest Australian female debutante ever, admitted she was motivated by missing out on the team pursuit.

"Every time I got told I'm not riding through all three of the rounds in the team pursuit it was a perfect opportunity for me," she told reporters.

"I'm in the best condition and form of my life and I had to make the most of that and definitely use that as motivation.

"While it was really disappointing to miss out yesterday the girls definitely inspired me with their win."

It could easily have been an all-Australian gold-medal final with Cure finishing just a quarter of a second slower than Valente in qualifying.

Wiasak's win will further intensify competition in the Australian squad for a team pursuit spot at the Rio Olympics.

"It was just so amazing to see Bec up there with the gold after missing out on the team pursuit (on Thursday)," Cure said.

"She's so strong out there, she deserves it, and we were all cheering 100 per cent for her in the final."

Track queen Anna Meares surprisingly failed to fire in the sprint on Friday after winning bronze and silver in the team sprint and 500m time trial respectively on the opening days.

If she's to win a record-breaking 11th world title this week it will have to come in her final event, the keirin, on Sunday (Monday morning AEDT).

"Tough day at the office," the reigning Olympic champion wrote on her Instagram account.

"Gave it all I had but today that wasn't enough. Despite being disappointed I'll be back to try again in the keirin."

South Australia's Stephanie Morton, however, is into the final four for the first time in her career after beating Great Britain's Jessica Varnish in two straight runs in their quarter-final.

Morton had earlier dispatched German superstar Miriam Welte.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games sprint champion will now meet Dutch rider Elis Ligtlee in the semi-finals on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT).

Victorian Glenn O'Shea is sitting in sixth at the half-way mark of the multi-race omnium with three disciplines left.

O'Shea, who won the event in 2012, started badly on Friday with a poor scratch race but bounced back by winning the individual pursuit with a PB of 4 minutes 20.807 seconds.

The 25-year-old finished with an impressive fourth in the elimination race.

Young gun Scott Law rode an aggressive 40km points race in his first world championships outing.

He claimed three points early before going on the attack with three others and gaining half a lap.

The quartet was eventually reeled back in but Law kept fighting and finished seventh overall.

Australia has won two gold, a silver and three bronze medals over the first three days of competition.


Most Viewed in Sport