Less than twenty-fours hours after claiming silver in the team sprint, South Australia’s Stephanie Morton (SA) launched herself into the women’s sprint final four with a powerful and controlled demonstration on Thursday.
The unassuming South Australian topped the women’s sprint qualifying for the second straight world championships which a scorching personal best time of 10.724secs for the flying 200m.
Morton was simply superb as she motored through the rounds of 1/16 and 1/8, before stunning four-time track world champion Anastasia Voynova in two authoritative quarterfinals rides.
The twenty-six-year-old has finished inside the top eight in all four of her world championship sprint campaigns to date and is poised to better her career best fourth place secured in 2015. She will face five-time sprint world championships medallist Simona Krupeckaite (UKR) in the semi finals on Friday.
Morton’s team sprint partner Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) produced her strongest sprint campaign in years, posting the seventh fastest (10.962) qualifying time, her career-best world championship qualifying ride.
Sydney’s McCulloch, 29, progressed to the quarterfinals with two barnstorming wins, before meeting the might of Olympic medallist and hometown favourite Wai Sze Lee who was just too good for McCulloch on the day.
Debutant Holly Takos (SA) impressed on debut with the thirteenth fastest qualifying time, with her campaign coming to an end in the round 1/16 after being edged on the line by Korea’s Lee Hyejin.
Takos, the reigning Oceania keirin champion, and reigning national champion McCulloch will be back on the track on Sunday in the keirin.
Matthew Glaetzer finished just off the podium in fourth in the men’s keirin final which was won in blazing fashion by Malaysian track cyclist Mohd Azizulhasni Awang.
Glaetzer was clinical in the earlier rounds with two solid wins placing him as the rider to watch in the final.
However the keirin lottery numbers did not come up for Glaetzer in 2017, with the Australian-based Azizulhasni taking his maiden world title ahead of Colombian Fabian Hernando Puerto Zapata and Tomas Babek of Czech Republic.