Ethan Mitchell will have a chance to take his first individual world championship medal this evening when he lines up for the bronze medal match in the sprint competition.  Mitchell will face Great Britain’s Ryan Owens, with Denis Dmitriev and Harrie Lavreysen going for gold.

The men’s sprint saw New Zealanders Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins all line up.    Friday’s qualifying round had been extremely good from Mitchell’s perspective as he qualified fastest of the trio and fourth overall in a time of 9.767 seconds.  Denis Dmitriev of Russia qualified fastest ahead of Germany’s Max Niederlag of Germany and Sebastien Vigier of France.

Webster and Dawkins both qualified along with Mitchell and from there the trio began to make their way through the rounds all the way to the quarter final where Dmitriev took out Sam Webster from a semi-final spot, and Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands also eliminated Eddie Dawkins leaving just Mitchell.  Mitchell himself needed three rounds to eliminate Matthew Glaetzer of Australia and book a semi-final spot with Dmitriev.

In the first heat of the semi-final Dmitriev comfortably took out the heat after coming around Mitchell on the first turn with one lap to go.  Mitchell held his speed around the back straight but he’d just left himself too much to do.  Dmitriev comfortably took the heat, while Lavreysen of the Netherlands took out heat number 1 of his semi-final against Great Britain’s Ryan Owens.

The second heat saw Dmitriev take the inside line at the start.  Mitchell needed to win to force a decider.  Dmitriev looked comfortable to take the lead, while Mitchell held him at just a short distance ahead of him, but it was Dmitriev who rose the pace a bit.  The pace was particularly high as they hit the bell.  This time it was much closer between the two, but Dmitriev was too strong, taking the heat and the semi-final.

Mitchell will contend the bronze medal match later this evening against Ryan Owens after Lavreysen took the second heat in emphatic fashion.

Photo:  Guy Swarbrick

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