LAUNCESTON cyclist Lauren Perry has continued Australia's gold rush at the 2013 UCI Junior Track World Championships in Glasgow with victory in the individual pursuit.
The 17-year-old Launceston College student became the state's latest world champion winning Australia's fifth gold medal of the championships, with the team also picking up two bronze medals on day three through Josie Talbot (NSW) who won bronze behind Perry, and Zac Shaw (VIC) who claimed bronze in the men's time trial.
The fastest qualifier in the afternoon session in 2 minutes, 27.89 seconds, Perry was pitted against Russia's Natalia Mozharova in the final and a slow start left her trailing her Russian opponent by a third of a second after the first kilometre.
However, Perry upped her pace over the middle kilometre to take a one second lead into the final stages and Mozharova had no answer for Perry's relentless pace over the final few laps, with the Tasmanian crossing the line in 2:27.1560 to take the gold, almost two seconds ahead of Mozharova (2:28.6420).
``I am pretty excited, it hasn't sunk in just yet,'' Perry said.
``When I finished, I was in total shock and then on the podium, was a little bit teary.
``Now I have just gone all numb and still really can't believe it.
``I usually go out pretty hard in the first 1km because I get a little excited, but not today and I think the way I paced myself worked out very well as I had more to give in the end.
``To be able to win a rainbow jersey for Tasmania is so great.
`` I have so many great role models from home like Ritchie (Porte), Matt (Goss), Amy (Cure), Grace (Sulzberger) and Georgia (Baker) and now hopefully this is the start of me following in their footsteps.''
Lauren's parents were both coming to terms with her achievement yesterday, dad Jamie keeping in touch by phone from here in Launceston while mum Sarah was in the crowd at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome to watch their daughter become a world champion.
``Lauren totally deserves it - she has worked hard for the past six to eight years and is never one to shirk on her training and has done a really good job,'' Jamie said.
``We're really very proud of her.''