THERE were wins on the cycling and running track and a close call in the surf as Australia’s top athletes and rising stars impressed on the local and international stages.
The Opals also have a new coach and there’s been plenty of movement in the world of basketball.
There’s also a ring-dinger of a double header in Sydney this weekend for netball fans.
All this and more in this week’s SHORT AND SWEET sport wrap.
CYCLISTS ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Australia topped the medal table with three golds and 11 medals in total at the world track cycling championships with our women playing major roles in the success.
An in the case of two riders, there was some Rio redemption.
Ashlee Ankudinoff and Amy Cure were in Rio last year when their team pursuit squad crashed on the eve of competition and finished fifth.
In Hong Kong at the world championships, they teamed with newcomers Rebecca Wiasak and Alex Manly for a silver medal behind the US.
Their medals followed don from Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton winning silver in the women’s team sprint.
Also notable was Amy Cure’s bronze following a countback in the omnium.
TEENAGER STARS AT STAWELL GIFT.
Liv Ryan. Remember the name.
The 16-year-old sprinter won the Stawell Gift women’s race, finishing in 13.72 seconds.
An hour after writing her name into the history books, Ryan claimed the women’s 70m title.
FORMER OPAL TO HELM AUSTRALIAN TEAM
Former Opal Sandy Brondello has been named as the brew coach of the Australian women’s basketball team,.
Brondello will split her time between the Opals and the WNBA team, Phoenix Mercury.
“Her unparalleled preparation, high-level basketball IQ, and her ability to build relationships with players make her the perfect choice to lead Australia’s program,’’ said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman.
“We are thrilled our head coach is now recognised as one of the best coaches in the world and we wish her the best of luck.”
Brondello led a team to the playoffs in each of her four years as a head coach in the WNBA.
She also played 302 games for the national team, was a two-time world championship bronze medallist and medallist at three Olympics.
ABC, EASY AS ONE, TWO, THREE
They might have missed out on being crowned the Rip Curl pro champion at bells Beach, but a trio of Australian surfers have snared the top three rankings on the world surfing tour.
Stephanie Gilmore, who finished runner-up to American Courtney Conlogue at the annual contest, is ranked No.1.
Sally Fitzgibbons is No.2 with world champion Tyler Wright, still searching for her first World Tour win of the year, in third place.
GIANTS FACE TEST OF METTLE
The Giants will have their mettle tested this week when they take on the improving Magpies in the first game of a NSW double header.
The Giants have still lost just one game this season while the Magpies are desperately trying to consolidate their position in the top four of Super Netball.
A highlight of the match is expected to be the circle battle in the Giants attack where former teammates Susan Pratley and Sharni Layton will tussle for space.
MOVES AND SHAKES IN THE WORLD OF BASKETBALL.
Young Sydney Flames guard Tahlia Tupaea has become the latest Australian to be drafted to the WNBA with the Minnesota Lynx picking her up with the 36th and last pick.
She has also signed a new two-year deal with the Sydney Flames.
In other WNBL news, Suzy Batkovic has signed with the Townsville Fire for another year.
A five-time WNBL MVP, Batkovic is one of the most prized signatures in the game.
TOUGH ASK AHEAD FOR SWIFTS
The Swifts managed to do it in the pre-season but getting their second win of Super Netball against the Vixens will be a tough ask.
Still the young side go into Sundays match with the best of intentions as they battle to move up the ladder from second last.
She ended up doing a little more than that, playing a key bench role as the Flames won their first championship since 2001.
Originally published as Aussies on track in cycling, athletics
SOURCE: newsnow sport