Godfrey takes track world's omnium for New Zealand

By Justin Davis, AFP | Sunday, March 30, 2008 11.00pm

Hayden Godfrey handed New Zealand their only gold medal of the world track cycling championships on Sunday when he won the five-event omnium.

Australian Leigh Howard claimed second place to bag the silver with Aliaksandr Lisouski of Belarus taking the bronze.

Lisouski, the winner of the men's scratch gold in midweek, finished level on points with defending champion Alois Kankovsky but the Czech rider finished fourth due to inferior performances from the timed events.

The omnium was introduced at world championship level last year and includes five events: the 200m flying start sprint, scratch race, pursuit, points race and kilo time trial.

At the end the results of all five races are turned into points, and the rider with the lowest number is pronounced winner.

Godfrey was third in the sprint, won the scratch, finished fourth in the pursuit and then placed seventh in the points race.

A fourth place finish after the four laps of the kilo time trial, won by Britain's Steven Burke, allowed him to claim the gold medal and finally put the Kiwis among the medals after Hayden Roulston had lost out on the individual pursuit bronze on the opening day.

"I'm delighted. When I first heard about this event a couple of years ago I knew it could suit me," said Godfrey, who is based in New Zealand but who has raced in the United States for the past seven years.

"I'm not really a specialist in anything, more a jack of all trades and master of none.

"Unfortunately last year in Mallorca I couldn't compete because I had an injury. I've had to wait another year to have a crack at it, so I'm just really happy it worked out.

"New Zealand's not won many world titles so I'm happy to be part of that small group."

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