The men's team sprint won gold last night at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane, but that could not overshadow two pioneering moments for New Zealand women's sport.

Silver medallists Natasha Hansen and Emma Cumming in the team sprint and Bryony Botha, Rushlee Buchanan, Kirstie James and Racquel Sheath in the team pursuit both achieved Commonwealth Games firsts for this country.

The 4000m women's team pursuit was making its Games debut, and no previous medals had been secured in the women's team sprint.

Lines were ruled through both aspirations in just over an hour.


Female track cycling forebears like Madonna Harris and Sarah Ulmer could be forgiven if they unleashed surreptitious fist-pumps in their lounges, especially given Ulmer's husband Brendon Cameron was mentoring the pursuiters trackside.

The quartet started with pluck but were lapped by Australia in the last metre of the final.

The hosts lowered their own Games record, clocking 4m 15.214s; New Zealand were 9.322s adrift.

That could not dent veteran Buchanan's pride.

"It's a huge honour to win New Zealand's first medal [of the Games] and make history.

"We wanted to give the Aussies a run for their money in the first two kilometres… and then hold on for dear life, which is kind of what the team pursuit is anyway.

"I'm super proud with a silver medal wearing the silver fern."

James noted the bittersweetness.

"I've dreamed of coming to the Commonwealth Games since I was a kid. It's pretty emotional to finally be here standing on the podium representing New Zealand.

"It's always tough in a team pursuit getting silver, because you just lost the race. After the legs stop hurting, we'll let the moment sink in."

Australia were also in command against Hansen and Cumming, establishing a 0.349s lead after the first lap and extending to 0.627s at the finish.

The Kiwi duo set a New Zealand best time of 33.115s, eclipsing their qualifying mark by 0.206s, and 0.338s inside their world championship measure.

"We definitely earned the medal on the back of those personal bests," Hansen said.

"And to have those three boys [the men's team] training, pushing and working with us, and being the best teammates they can be, is why we're here today," Cumming added.

The success of the men's team sprint rose from the ashes of a world championships where they finished sixth trying to defend their title.

"I'm not going to lie," Webster said. "We definitely sat around the table afterwards and said 'what happened?'

"It was one of those days - and we don't have many, because we're normally well-drilled technically - where we each made one small mistake and the other riders couldn't compensate.

"We weren't going to complain. We sat down and stuck to the plan and did it for each other."

"Going in as world champions, we didn't gel like normal," Mitchell said of their progression.

"We put an emphasis on regrouping and focusing on the technical things we pride ourselves on."

"The first 60m [of the final 250m lap] has been flip of a coin for me," Dawkins added.

"To get that dialed in since the worlds has been a huge weight off my shoulders."