Parade of titans thrills crowd

LAUNCESTON Carnival organisers paid a fitting tribute to the quality of riders on show this year by staging a parade of champions midway through last night's program.

Eight riders from the London Olympics were individually introduced and given a big round of applause by the Silverdome crowd.

Australian medallists Glenn O'Shea (silver in the team pursuit), Annette Edmondson (bronze in the omnium) and Kaarle McCulloch (bronze in the team sprint), were joined by New Zealand keirin bronze medallist Simon Van Velthooven and his compatriot Shane Archbold, Tasmanian Amy Cure, Belgium's Kenny De Ketele and Malaysian Fatehah Mustapa.

Perth's triple junior world champion Georgia Baker joined the parade because she is eligible to wear the cherished rainbow jersey as a reigning world champion along with O'Shea (omnium) and De Ketele (madison).

The rainbows were out in force in the motor pace final won by De Ketele, with O'Shea third either side of Sydney sensation Jack Edwards, swiftly becoming the star of the series.

Malaysian Josiah Ng denied Van Velthooven his customary win in the keirin. The Kiwi has enjoyed something of a monopoly on the event over the past couple of years but received a warning for moving into the sprinter's lane in his heat and had to settle for second in the final with O'Shea third.

A day after claiming a one-two finish in the AJ Clarke and Sons Handicap at Latrobe, Malaysian riders repeated the feat in the 1000m lightning handicap.

Ng and Hamdan Hamidun were successful at Latrobe Oval but at the Silverdome it was compatriots Firdaus Zonis and Asyraf Naim who triumphed off 105 metres, Zonis claiming the $500 first prize in 1:08.92 and later adding the C-grade scratch race.

Ulverstone's Queensland-based former boxer, Ben Price, followed up his second place in the Latrobe Wheel by taking third.

The scratch riders had a bigger impact in the women's event, Western Australia's reigning national madison champion Isabella King claiming the title from Victorian Shannon McCurley with Launceston Classic winner Lauren Perry third.

Edmondson continued her superb carnivals form by adding the women's A-grade elimination final to her third straight Latrobe Wheel win from the previous day. King had to settle for second.

McCulloch finished third but hit back to get one over her national teammate in the A-grade scratch race, storming home with more than a lap to go to win in 5:48.90 from Edmondson with Victorian Shannon McCurley third.

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