NEW DELHI – Rising track star Megan Dunn lived up to her promise when she edged a thrilling finale to win the women’s 25km points race at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old Australian champion gave her country their fourth track cycling gold medal from four finals, finishing ahead of Lauren Ellis of New Zealand with Tara Alice Whitten of Canada winning the bronze.
“I’m a long way from home but I’m happy to be here,” said Dunn, who comes from a town of 30,000 called Dubbo in New South Wales.
“Coming from the Tarmac track basics in Dubbo has made me the person I am today. I put a lot of pressure on myself to prove I could do it despite a disappointing world championships.”
Dunn, already a top track cyclist in her first year of senior racing and a multiple junior world champion, only finished 10th in the world championship points race in Denmark earlier this year.
“I definitely felt that I put pressure on myself, that I needed to establish myself as a senior. I think I did that today.”
Dunn demonstrated maturity and formidable grit to edge out Ellis at the death, wrapping up gold in the last of 10 sprints.
Ellis swapped sprint victories with Dunn throughout the middle section of the race and beat her rival into second place in the ninth, closing the gap to two points to set up a nailbiting finish.
But Dunn cruised home in the final sprint, beating Ellis into third to take gold by five points.
Whitten worked hard to keep up with leading two, winning the second and eight sprints but fell away towards the end of the race and in the end seemed happy to take third, nine points behind the leader.