Cycling: Hill's gilt-edged sprint adds to Australia's gold haul

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The Independent Online
Australia's Darryn Hill won his first major title when he took the men's sprint gold, the blue riband event of the World Cycling Championships in Bogota.

In Saturday's three-heat final, Hill beat Canada's Curt Harnett, who on Thursday had become the first man to break the 10-second barrier in the event. Earlier, he had beaten his compatriot and the former world champion, Gary Neiwand.

Hill, runner-up to Marty Nothstein of the United States in last year's World Championships, celebrated while Harnett was left waiting for his breakthrough despite Thursday's record. Harnett, who clocked 9.865sec when he set the record during Thursday's qualifying time trial, won the first heat of the final comfortably.

In the second, the Canadian was within a whisker of the world title but was edged by Hill on the final straight. In the decisive heat, Hill outmanoeuvred the Canadian and sped away to claim the crown. "I got him up on the hip and kept him there," Hill said. "I think I'm becoming a smarter rider. I hope so."

Hill, who rode after Harnett on Thursday, had also gone under 10 seconds, with a time of 9.926. Hill claimed Australia's third medal of the track event, which finished on Saturday. On Tuesday Shane Kelly won the 1km time trial, breaking the world record in the process, while on Friday the Australians won the men's team pursuit.

Rebecca Twigg, of the United States, reclaimed the world record she lost just one day earlier and won the women's individual pursuit, despite riding with a broken collar bone. Twigg, 32, beat Italy's Antonella Bellutti in 3min 36.081sec.

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