Malaysia’s Josiah Ng put a stop to Australia’s complete domination of track events in the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, taking gold in the men’s keirin after his compatriot Azizulhasni Awang was disqualified.
Awang powered through a tight gap to take the race in the home straight from Ng, who finished second ahead of England’s David Daniell.
But officials announced after the race that Anwang was being disqualified for “dangerous sprinting,” handing the gold to Ng.
Daniell was bumped up to the silver medal spot with Simon Van Velthooven of New Zealand getting bronze.
“To be honest I’d have been happy with silver because he deserved to win,” Ng said in a show of solidarity with his teammate after the race. “He didn’t intrude but that’s just my opinion. That’s sport, I guess.”
The gold medalist said Awang was “like a brother” to him, adding: “It’s not my medal ─ it’s our medal.”
Ng said he was “proud and emotional” as he had worked hard in training to confound his detractors.
“A lot of people questioned and doubted me, saying I was not worthy of being on the Malaysia team, but I just keep going because I love my country and love my sport.”
Daniell, a 1000m time trial specialist who switched to the keirin to improve his chances of a place in the 2012 Olympic team, said he did not see the drama unfold until watching the screen after the race.
“I just raced my race and gave 100 percent along the way,” he said.
Ng has a strong U.S. connection, having lived and raced in California for much of his youth. He was born in the Philippines to Malaysian parents, who later moved to the U.S. Ng has raced internationally for Malaysia and spent time at the UCI’s training center in Switzerland as part of the governing body’s international athlete development program.
Van Velthooven’s said it felt “great” to win a medal at the end of the season.
Ross Edgar, Scotland’s Olympic keirin silver medalist, crashed out earlier as he was attempting to reel in a deficit to the leaders in the second semi-final but was brought down by South Africa’s Bernard Pierre Esterhuizen.
Australia’s Shane Perkins was implicated in the collision and was disqualified, his place in the final going to England’s Peter Mitchell, while Esterhuizen was wheeled away on a stretcher sporting a number of cuts and scratches.
Men’s Points Race
World champion Cameron Meyer wrapped up another stellar day for Australia on the track when he claimed gold in the men’s 40km points race.
Meyer, 22, was the solid favorite going into the race and lived up to his billing as he racked up the points with consistent cycling and four sprint wins to finish on a massive 89 points.
George Atkins of England took silver with a total of 52 while Mark Peter Christian of the Isle of Man sneaked past Welshman Sam Harrison in the last few feet to take the bronze on 37 points despite notching the exactly same total as his rival.
Australia finished the day with three of the four golds on offer, adding to Tuesday’s haul of three golds in three events at the Indira Gandhi velodrome on Tuesday.
“I’m very happy. I’ve ticked off my main objective off the list and it’s great to come here and win a gold medal,” said Meyer, who has scratch races and a team sprint to complete before the closing ceremony on next Thursday.
Meyer attributed Australia’s success to “great team spirit” in the locker room after his country’s much publicized anxieties about Delhi’s chaotic build-up to the Games abated and the team committed itself to turning up.
Gold in Delhi caps quite a year for Meyer, who finished first in the Madison, points race and team pursuit in the UCI Track Cycling World Championships following a disappointing fourth place in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
“I was so close in Beijing,” he said. “I’m going into London 2012 thinking I will be ready.”
Silver medalist Atkins said he was “extremely proud.”
“I came here expecting maybe a top five,” he said. “It all came together and I had really good legs. I have got to the point where I need and want to be the world champion.”
Christian managed to get to equal points with Harrison after coming second in a sprint with nine laps to go, setting up a thrilling scuffle for bronze.
“Sam Harrison was really pushing me to the end and I knew I just had to get my wheel in front,” he said.
Christian said he always believed Meyer would “walk away” with the gold.
Women’s Points Race
Rising track star Megan Dunn lived up to her promise when she edged a thrilling finale to win the women’s 25km points race earlier in the day.
The 19-year-old Australian champion finished ahead of Lauren Ellis of New Zealand with Tara Alice Whitten of Canada winning the bronze.
“I’m a long way from home but I’m happy to be here,” said Dunn, who comes from Dubbo, a town of 30,000 in New South Wales.
“Coming from the Tarmac track basics in Dubbo has made me the person I am today. I put a lot of pressure on myself to prove I could do it despite a disappointing world championships.”
Dunn, already a top track cyclist in her first year of senior racing and a multiple junior world champion, only finished 10th in the world championship points race in Denmark earlier this year.
“I definitely felt that I put pressure on myself, that I needed to establish myself as a senior. I think I did that today.”
Dunn demonstrated maturity and formidable grit to edge out Ellis at the death, wrapping up gold in the last of 10 sprints.
Ellis swapped sprint victories with Dunn throughout the middle section of the race and beat her rival into second place in the ninth, closing the gap to two points to set up a nail-biting finish.
But Dunn cruised home in the final sprint, beating Ellis into third to take gold by five points.
Whitten worked hard to keep up with leading two, winning the second and eight sprints but fell away towards the end of the race and in the end seemed happy to take third, nine points behind the leader.
Women’s team Sprint
Australia underlined its domination of cycling at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, comfortably taking gold in the women’s track sprint team race.
The Australian team of Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch powered around the Indira Gandhi velodrome in 33.811 seconds, more than two seconds ahead of silver medalists Scotland.
Canada won the bronze medal with a similarly convincing win over India.
Meares, one of the opening day winners, bettered her own mark to set a new Games record and defend the 500m Time Trial title and claim her fifth Commonwealth medal. McCulloch was second in that race.
Both were too quick for the Scots duo of Jenny Davis and Monique Sullivan, taking the race at a canter.
Canada, whose team included Tara Alice Whitten, who had just picked up bronze in the 100-lap points race, were easy winners in the bronze medal ride-off, beating India by more than a second in a time of 37.094.