Nathan Hart hopes to win place at world track cycling championships

A BROKEN wrist prevented his father from representing Australia at the world track cycling championships more than 30 years ago. Now Nathan Hart will play the waiting game to find out whether he’ll get to this year’s worlds in Colombia later this month.

Hart won silver in the sprint at the Australian championships in Adelaide on Friday night, following in the footsteps of his father Braham, who won silver at the nationals in 1983.

The 20-year-old grew up in Tuggeranong and came through the same ACT Academy of Sport talent search that unearthed road cyclist Michael Matthews.

While Hart follows the road cycling, he is built for the speed of the track and even when he did athletics as a kid it was always the sprint events he did better in.

He was hoping to be part of Australia’s team sprint at the worlds in Cali starting in 24 days.

Hart said finishing second to Matthew Glaetzer was completely unexpected, earning him his first individual medal at a nationals.

The former Erindale College student got through to the final after Shane Perkins withdrew from their semi-final due to a back injury.

He represented Australia for the first time at a World Cup meet in Mexico in December, where he picked up bronze in the team sprint – the event he hopes to compete in at the worlds.

”Very happy, extremely happy [with silver], it was a little bit unexpected, I wasn’t really focusing on the sprint all that much leading into these nationals, but definitely pretty excited about getting the silver, especially behind someone like Matthew Glaetzer who’s riding super fast at the moment,” Hart said.

”I’ve got some OK form at the moment, I’ve come to national champs with as good a form as I can and ridden as well as I can and I suppose most of it is out of my control at the moment.”

And Hart’s not getting carried away with his chances of going to Colombia.

He said he was one of ”a few” who could get the nod to join likely duo Glaetzer and Perkins in Cali.

Canberran Daniel Ellis, who now lives in Adelaide and is making a comeback from a year off, and Victoria’s Jacob Schmid were also in the mix.

”I’ve been focusing on first wheel for the team sprint … trying to improve my time … trying to be the first rider in the team, getting off to a super-quick start from a standstill,” Hart said.

”There’s a few riders in contention, I’m one of them, Danny Ellis … Jake Schmid who’s also riding similar times in the first-wheel sprint, but really it’d take one of us to really step up and knock a couple of tenths off our PB to put our name forward and really have a concrete position in that team.”

Fellow Canberran Bec Wiasak picked up bronze in the women’s 25km points race.

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