Alex Edmondson has taken Australia to the top of the medal tally at the world track championships in Cali, Colombia, with a stunning victory in the men’s individual pursuit final on Thursday.
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Edmondson’s gold medal-winning ride over the 4000m distance continued Australia’s reign of success in the event that extends back to 2011 when fellow South Australian Jack Bobridge won the world title. After Bobridge’s win, Queensland’s Michael Hepburn won the title back-to-back in 2012 and 2013. For Edmondson, 20, his win on Thursday was also his second gold medal in two days after racing in the Australian team pursuit that won gold on Wednesday. After two days of competition, Australia lead the medal tally with two golds, one silver and one bronze. Australia’s silver came from Anna Meares in the women’s 500m time trial on Thursday when she clocked 33.548 seconds. Her time was bettered only by German winner Miriam Welte in 33.451. Russian Anastasiia Voinova took the bronze in 33.789.

In the women’s 4000m team pursuit, Australia won bronze with South Australian Annette Edmondson, Tasmanian Amy Cure, and West Australians Melissa Hoskins and Bella King catching their opponents, Poland, at 3000m. Great Britain (four minutes, 23.407s) won the gold medal from Canada (4:24.696).

But the day belonged to Alex Edmondson, who was the fastest in qualifying and won his individual pursuit gold medal in 4:22.582, beating Switzerland’s Stefan Kueng (4:22.995). Edmondson led early and by 3000m was still 2.421 up, but then had to fend off a late charge from Kueng. ”I knew it was going to be a hard race,” Edmondson said. ”He is very strong and he always backs up. I knew coming into this I had to give it all. With this outdoor track, it all comes down to the last kilometre.

”I didn’t have very much left and I could see him out of the corner of my eye. I tried not to look, but I couldn’t help it. He was coming at me so fast, but to be able to come across the line and win is just unbelievable. We have had a pretty awesome lead-in. We have dedicated 100 per cent. Whether it was early morning or rain, I went out there with one goal, one dream – to be world champion.”

Glenn O’Shea backed up from his winning team pursuit ride to place eighth in the men’s 15km scratch race; while in the keirin, Shane Perkins was eighth and Matthew Glaetzer 10th.

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