Two days after grabbing an emotional silver in the team event, Sydney’s Ashlee Ankudinoff solo’d to the individual pursuit silver medal and her sixth career world championships medal.
It was a welcomed return to the individual race against the clock for Ankudinoff, 26, and to the podium after claiming bronze five years ago at the 2012 Melbourne Worlds.
“It was nice to have something else to concentrate on other than the team pursuit as all the focus was on that leading up to Rio (Olympic Games),” said Ankudinoff. “It was great to be given the opportunity to race the individual pursuit here and I am stoked to finish with silver.”
The USA’s Chloe Dygert (3:24.641) was just too good for the field and for Ankudinoff (3:31.784) as powered to the gold medal by seven seconds.
“I can’t complain, I came here with high expectations obviously chasing those rainbows, and just missing out on the rainbows in the team pursuit gave me a bit of fire in the belly to come out here on IP day,” said Ankudinoff, who shared the team pursuit podium Amy Cure, Alex Manly and Rebecca Wiasak on Thursday evening.
“I had my work set out for me against Chloe, but I stuck to my game plan in qualifying and did a 29 (3minutes 29.554secs).
“Then, in the final I had nothing to lose, I was up against it, but I just gave it my all and that’s all I can ask for.”
Earlier in the day, Ankudinoff powered to the second fastest qualifying time (3:29.554) to set up a clash with event favourite Chloe Dygert (USA). Dygert – who broke Australian hearts in the team pursuit after powerful effort at the front to guide USA claim the unlikeliest of final lap victories – sizzled in a near-world record qualifying time of (3:22.920).
“It is really promising looking forward to the next four years.”
As a new Olympic cycle commences and with less than one year until the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Australian track cycling is celebrating a world-topping performance at the 2017 UCI Track World Championships in Hong Kong.
Australia finished the five-day Championships with eleven medals - three gold, five silver and three bronze across seven events - six more than Russia who was second on the nation's rankings with five. The women pocketed six medals (two sprint and four endurance medals), while the men's grabbed five medals including both pursuit crowns and the points race title.