Kennedy does double as Green breaks through for win
Sydney pair Simone Kennedy and Alexandra Green has given Australia two more gold medals while Sue Powell and David Nicholas claimed silver medals on the third day of competition at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles.
The Australian team now has seven gold and three silver medals to put them second on the medal table behind Great Britain who have seven gold and five silver medals with one day of racing to come.
Kennedy's win came in the C3 women's 3km individual pursuit where she posted a time of 4:29.387 to defeat Denise Schindler of Germany by more than two seconds (4:31.506). It's the second gold medal for 19-year-old who on Thursday won the 500 metre time trial crown.
"I'm very happy," said Kennedy after collecting her second rainbow jersey. "I'd been training really hard for the pursuit (it's) the event I've been training for most and I was hoping to do really well.
"This is my first world championships and there weren't any C3's last year so no idea what to expect," said Kennedy. "I just tried to ride my own race and stick to my own schedule and not blow up, which I didn't, so that's good."
The C4 women's pursuit final was an all Australian affair between defending world champion Sue Powell from Canberra and Sydney's Alexandra Green who was the bronze medallist in 2011 and who slashed eight seconds off her previous best to clock the fastest qualifying time of 4:10.331. Powell rode after her and paced herself to a time of 4:14.885 to secure her place in the gold medal final.
Powell led early in the 12 lap event but by the halfway mark Green had her measure and continued to improve over the final laps to power to the line in another personal best time of 4:09.112. Powell stopped the clock in 4:13.191 for second place.
"It's pretty amazing and I didn't expect it that's for sure," said Green, 24, who switched to cycling from adaptive rowing. "Definitely I'm a pursuiter not a sprinter and the endurance events is where I want to perform so glad I could do that."
Green says coming up against her team mate in the final inspired her to perform.
"Sue's always been so far ahead of me so to come up against her I think I'd rather race her than anyone else because I know she holds herself to such a high standard and she's always going so well," said Kennedy.
"It's also been amazing to see a world record from girls' tandem and so many world champions (in the Australian team) and you just want to come out and do your best and hope you get a result, a medal or world title," said Green of the morale within the Australian camp.
Powell was full of praise for her rival who is 20 years her junior.
"Well deserved for Alex who has done a massive PB this morning and again this afternoon," said Powell. "I'm a little disappointed in my time cause I've consistently ridden faster than that over the last few months but that happens and that's racing and hopefully I'll go home and work on it."
Earlier in the day Queensland's David Nicholas grabbed a surprise silver medal in the C3 men's kilometre time trial to go with the world title he won in the pursuit.
Nicholas was the 14th rider out of the gate and set a time of 1.13.912 to take the lead. He then endured a nervous wait as another seven riders tried to better his time. Several started fast before fading but then world record holder Darren Kenny of Great Britain flew out of the gate and maintained his pace over the four laps to claim the win in a time of 1.12.496.
In the C1 women's 3km pursuit Jayme Paris clocked 4.52.423 but as the only starter in the classification does not receive a medal. But she was buoyed by a visit from Australian actors Daniel MacPherson and Zoe Ventura who were at the track to cheer on the Australians.
'Dancing with the Stars' host MacPherson met Paris when he hosted the 2011 Jayco Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards in Sydney last November and has become one of her biggest fans.
He and girlfriend Ventura, with whom he starred in Wild Boys, are in Los Angeles trying out for US television roles.
West Australian Claire McLean also raced today and finished fifth in the C5 3km individual pursuit that was won by Great Britain's Sarah Storey.
Thirty three nations are contesting the championships in a bid to claim qualifying points to secure starting places at the Paralympic Games.
The Para-cyclones for the 2012 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships are listed below: