Hopes of a second visit to the podium at the world track cycling championships for Sam Webster were dashed in London today.

Already a gold medallist from his team sprint performance, alongside Eddie Dawkins and Ethan Mitchell, Aucklander Webster was hoping to back that with a strong result in the individual sprint.

However he had to settle for seventh after losing his best-of-three quarter-final against Britain's outstanding Jason Kenny, the rider Webster beat to win the Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow two years ago.

Kenny, a triple Olympic gold medallist and double world champion, was in fine form, winning the matchup in two straight rides.


Webster finished third in the ride-off for fifth to eighth behind winner Fabian Puerta Zapata of Colombia, a world championship medallist, and nine-time world champion Gregory Bauge of France.

However, Natasha Hansen remains alive in the women's sprint, having produced her best international performance.

She has qualified for the quarter-finals on today's penultimate day of racing. Hansen was sixth in qualifying and backed that up with two top notch performances in the opening rounds of elimination to move into the quarter-finals, starting late tonight (NZT) at the London Velodrome.

Hanson, 26, clocked 10.949 seconds for the flying 200m in qualifying, to be only 0.2s behind top qualifier, Australian Stephanie Morton, and a fraction outside her national record set in Cambridge last month.

She beat double junior world champion Emma Hinze of Germany in the first round, and toppled former Olympic speed skating medallist Laurine van Riessenof the Netherlands in the second round.

"Natasha has progressed well over the last month. Back from the World Cup in Cambridge, her progression has been excellent," sprint coach Anthony Peden said.
''She delivered this morning what we have known and always thought she was capable of, which was a top six qualifying ride against some big names. That was very impressive.

"She then executed two very good technical rides and did exactly as we had planned. She should be very happy to achieve a top eight already and look to face the sharp end of the competition tomorrow."

Peden believes Hansen is benefitting from have more confidence in herself.

''She is getting belief in herself and she is growing that. She has out-qualified some very big names and then seen some big names fall in the elimination competition and she is still there."

Hansen takes on defending world champion Kristina Vogel of Germany in her best-of-three quarter-final on Monday.

Omnium rider Aaron Gate was 17th in the 1000m time trial, 16th in the flying lap and 19th in the points race to finish 19th overall in the six-discipline event.

Lauren Ellis was 20th in the scratch race, eighth in the individual pursuit and 14th in the elimination race to sit 15th overall after the first day of the first day of the women's omnium.