FORMER Wimmera cyclist Jason Niblett has won two silver medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Niblett, 31, was pilot for South Australian seven-time Paralympian Kieran Modra, 42, in two para-cycling events – the men’s one-kilometre time trial B2 tandem and men’s sprint B2 tandem.
This year’s Commonwealth Games were the first to feature para-cycling events.
The pair won silver in both events, with gold claimed by Scotland’s Neil Fachie and pilot Craig MacLean.
Early Saturday morning, Niblett and Modra set a Commonwealth Games record of 1:02.244 in the time trial.
They were the penultimate pair to take to the track.
But the final pair Fachie and MacLean followed in 1:02.096 to claim victory in front of their home crowd at Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
Niblett – a gold medallist at the 2010 Delhi Games – told the media after the event he and Modra were pleased with their performance.
“For us coming here, the Brits have always dominated this event, so for us to get within 0.15 is a huge achievement,” he said.
On Saturday afternoon, Niblett and Modra qualified fastest for the sprint finals in 10.05 – a Commonwealth Games record.
They won their semi-final two-nil against fellow Australians Paul Kennedy and pilot Thomas Clarke before winning the first heat of three in the final against Fachie and MacLean early Sunday morning.
But the Scottish duo responded with a close victory in the second race before winning the deciding third sprint.
Modra, who is competing at his first Commonwealth Games, said the final was closely contested.
“To go to three rounds shows we were in the hunt,” he said.
“We just had to win the second one, but they took that – and ultimately it was who had the most in their legs for the third one.
“We fought for it as much as we could.
“I commend them – I think they did a brilliant job.”
Modra praised pilot Niblett’s work.
“Jason is a fantastic tactician, he did a brilliant job on the front and I commend him,” he said.
Niblett, who said prior to the games it would be his last hurrah, said Modra could continue.
“If Kieran wanted to keep going to the Rio Olympics he might push them there – who knows what’s around the corner,” he said.
Niblett and Modra’s sprint silver was Australia’s 200th Commonwealth Games medal.