Kaarle McCulloch has enjoyed the most successful Commonwealth Games of her career, with the St George Cycling Club product returning from the Gold Coast with four medals.
The games closed on Sunday night with McCulloch, from Gymea, winning the women's 500 metres time trial and the women’s team sprint alongside Stephanie Morton. The 30-year-old also won a silver medal in the women’s Keiran and finished third in the women’s sprint.
It was a stunning effort from the triple world champion, who previously partnered Anna Meares in the team sprint.
McCulloch’s success was even more meaningful having won medals at the velodrome named after her former teammate.
“Anna Meares pulled me aside and said only a Meares girl has won this title. I want a McCulloch to win,” McCulloch told Cycling Australia.
“I feel like I’ve done it justice. I got into this sport because of her. To take that title tonight on her track is a dream come true.”
McCulloch, who won a silver medal in Delhi at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the London Olympics two years later, scored Australia’s fifth consecutive 500m sprint title as well as her first individual Commonwealth Games gold medal.
McCulloch snatched the gold just 0.036 seconds ahead of teammate Morton in a blistering personal best time of 33.583.
McCulloch and Morton also teamed up to overpower New Zealand pair Natasha Hansen and Emma Cumming in the women’s team sprint final.
With Meares watching on the duo rode the wave of parochial Aussie support as they clocked a new Commonwealth Games and national record time of 32.488.
“Steph and I are not a new team but we’re not an old team either. We’ve almost won nearly every time we step on a track together so to be able to go from Anna as a team sprint partner to Steph and make some history is awesome and I’m looking forward to Tokyo and beyond,” McCulloch said.
It was also a successful games for Menai’s Ashlee Ankudinoff, another St George product, who was part of Australia's women’s team pursuit that soared to victory against Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.
Ankudinoff and teammates Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson and Alexandra Manly won the first ever Commonwealth Games women's team pursuit gold medal in a games record time of 4 minutes 15.214 seconds in the final to defeat the Kiwis by nearly 10 seconds, catching their rivals inside the 16th and final lap.