Gate smashes national record

After being named Sportsman of the Year at the Halberg Awards on Wednesday night, Aaron Gate celebrated by smashing his own national record in the individual pursuit at the UCI Oceania track cycling championships in Cambridge yesterday.

Gate returned to Cambridge in time for the afternoon heats of the 4000m individual pursuit, but saved something special for the final.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist clocked 4min 6.468sec to claim the victory, clipping 0.66sec off his own New Zealand record in the process. It was a remarkable ride, going through 2000m in 2min 8sec and then producing a negative split final 2000m in 1min 58sec.

Gate overtook young Southland prospect Marshall Erwood, who earned plaudits for qualifying for the final in his first year in the elite division.

His Cycling New Zealand team-mate and Commonwealth Games champion, Bryony Botha, claimed the women’s 3000m individual pursuit in 3min 21.175sec over team-mate Emily Shearman.

Australian visitors claimed the elite sprint finals.

Team sprint world champion Matthew Richardson prevailed in two straight rides over compatriot Leigh Hoffman, and in the elite women Kristina Clonan beat New Zealander Shaane Fulton, who is returning to the form she showed prior to two years out following significant hip surgery.