Canada women team pursuit Commonwealth Games
Allison Beveridge, Ariane Bonhomme, Annie Foreman-Mackey and Steph Roorda ride to bronze at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Photo: Rob Jones

Team Canada’s track squad got off to a promising start at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with two bronze medals on the boards of the Anna Meares Velodrome. Both Canada’s men’s and women’s teams secured third-place finishes as the first day of competition wrapped up.

The women’s team were definite medal contenders going into the competition and posted a strong time in qualifying but were 0.153 seconds off from making it to the gold medal final.

Allison Beveridge, Ariane Bonhomme, Annie Foreman-Mackey and Steph Roorda rode for bronze against Great Britain securing the win by three seconds. Host nation Australia stormed to the gold medal catching the squad from New Zealand in the final.

“We were definitely more satisfied with our second ride,” Roorda explained. “The goal was to win the bronze medal, and we reassessed and improved on some stuff from the first ride, which was positive.”

The young men’s team pursuit squad were medal hopefuls but had their work cut out for them up against strong competition. Michael Foley, Derek Gee, Adam Jamieson and Jay Lamoureux qualified in fourth but when New Zealnad was disqualified for having non-regulated equipment they were seated against Wales for the bronze medal final. Aidan Caves rode in the place of Jamieson for the final beating the Welsh team by one second. Australian dominance in the event continued with the home team taking the gold with England in second. The Canadian team went 13 seconds faster than four years ago when they earned a fourth place finish.

Caves who was the only rider from the 2014 team was happy to finally get on the podium. “It feels amazing. We got pretty lucky that the Kiwis had an unfortunate disqualification, Caves said. “In the final, we basically just rode our first schedule but a little faster. Third feels amazing; to come back four years later with a new group of guys is incredible.”

In the remaining two events Canada showed promise but no medals. Amelia Walsh and Lauriane Genest qualified with the fourth fastest time in the team sprint but were then disqualified for making an exchange outside of the regulated zone. Walsh said that their time was still a good sign for things to come. Australia scooped up their third gold medal of the track session in the final.

In the men’s team sprint, Hugo Barrette, Stefan Ritter and Patrice St-Louis Pivin put up a spirited battle finishing fourth after loosing to Australia in the bronze medal race while England took gold.

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