The New Zealand cycling team’s impressive opening day at the Commonwealth Games was marked in a truly bizarre way with Ellesse Andrews denied her silver medal in the team pursuit and fined for failing to attend the event’s medal ceremony – because she was preparing for the team sprint final.
Andrews was part of the four-strong team that won silver on Saturday morning after she joined the team just two days earlier as a late replacement for Ally Wollaston, who was forced to retire following an injury at the Tour de France Femme. at the start of the season. the week.
With Andrews still committed to the sprint team, her role would be minimal in the team’s chase campaign; with just three drivers needing to finish the race but four needed to start, she simply had to line up to the side and run a few laps before giving up and leaving the rest to Michaela Drummond, Emily Shearman and Bryony Botha.
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Regardless, without their input the women’s pursuit team could not have entered, could not have qualified for the gold medal race and could not have fought Australia in said final.
After they won silver, Andrews was unable to attend the medal ceremony as she was also preparing for the team sprint gold medal race – scheduled to take place just 55 minutes after the team pursuit ceremony.
The decision was deserved with Andrews and the sprint team winning a gold medal for New Zealand with their triumph over Canada – the second podium-top performance in an hour for the Aotearoa cycling team.
Authorities didn’t see it that way, confirming after the day’s events that Andrews was fined £200 [NZ$334] and would not receive the team pursuit silver medal.
She was also deducted an undisclosed amount of UCI points.
Andrews told 1News she wasn’t worried about the situation and felt she couldn’t take credit for the outcome.
“I’m really happy to be able to help them continue their race… I’m really happy that they managed to get off the line,” said Andrews.
“The three girls are the ones who did the job, so I’m really proud that they managed to get out there and get their silver medal.”
This makes for an already controversial opening of the Games to New Zealand with officials after Hayden Wilde filed an appeal following his men’s triathlon silver medal for a time penalty he believes he should not have received.
1News understands that it can take up to 30 days for Wilde’s challenge to be resolved.
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