Two days after claiming the team sprint world title, Sydney’s Kaarle McCulloch broke through her for maiden individual World Championship medal with bronze in the 500m time trial.
McCulloch, 31, bolted from the gates to set a personal best time of 33.556secs (averaging 54.54km/h) and the second fastest ride of the afternoon qualifying session. The 2018 Commonwealth champion then bettered her time in the final by a further tenth of a second (33.419) which secured her first podium appearance in an individual event.
“I couldn’t have done anything more execution-wise tonight. I knew the rest of the girls would be even faster in the final, and they were, as was I. So to get that bronze medal is just an amazing feeling,” said McCulloch, who completed the set of medals for the women’s sprint team in Poland, with her bronze adding to the team sprint rainbow jersey and Morton’s sprint silver.
McCulloch, who won her first of four career world titles on this very Polish Velodrome in 2009, is in vintage form with World Championship, World Cup and Commonwealth gold, plus personal and Australian record times in all timed events within the past twelve months.
“That old saying that age is just a number I think is really true. I feel for me I have grown a lot over the last ten years. I was that athlete who was a little bit anxious and nervous and it has taken me a little time to understand how I work, and myself a little more.
“Things are starting to come together. I still feel like I have some improvement left in me which is the most important thing. And I am still enjoying it, which is the main reason I ride my bike. You have to love what you do and I absolutely love it.“
McCulloch’s 2019 World Championships campaign continues on the final day of competition with the keirin where she will be joined by Stephanie Morton.
“Keirin tomorrow, it is the Olympic format which is a few more races than usual which suits me. I will see what I can do, the sprint and team sprint is more my focus, but you never know what can happen in the keirin so we will see."