Kerby downplays Kiwi's 'disrespectful' gesture
THE GAMES: Gold medal-winning team pursuit cyclist Jordan Kerby has downplayed suggestions of disrespect from New Zealand rider Dylan Kennett.
Kennett blew Australian rider Kerby away early in their head-to-head battle for the individual pursuit bronze medal at the Anna Meares Velodrome at the Gold Coast Games, and was on his way to comfortably win by more than four seconds.
With Kennett enjoying such a comfortable buffer heading into the final lap, the 23-year-old visibly relaxed and stood up tall with his shoulders straight on the bike, slowing dramatically.
He sat tall, relaxed, and didn't acknowledge the bumper crowd when he finished.
Aussie two-time Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning cyclist Kate Bates was shocked to see Kennett treat his Aussie rival with such little respect.
She told Channel 7 in commentary that the Kiwi star's gesture appeared to be an attempt to show his dominance over the Aussie crowd.
"Well, a good ride from the New Zealander," Bates said.
"I have to say a bit disrespectful to sit up at the end like that. He didn't sit up and appreciate the crowd and wave. He just sat up as if to show his dominance over the Australian."
But Kerby, speaking outside the Athletes' Village, downplayed any notion of unsportsmanlike behaviour.
"I saw the video on Twitter and I think it's been blown a bit out of proportion to be honest with you," Kerby said.
"I know Dylan, he's a good guy. He knew he'd beaten me and he sat up before the line.
"He probably has another race today or tomorrow so he's probably saving his energy for that. Maybe taking his hands out of the aerobars made it look worse than it was but he had clearly won by that point.
"It's down to how you interpret it. He's also a guy who came up to me after the race, said that was awesome, good race mate, and I wish I could've raced you at tip-top individual pursuiting form.
"He's come up to me and acknowledged that so I don't think he's shown bad sportsmanship at all."
Kerby, the 2017 world individual pursuit world champion, missed the gold medal race 0.5 of a second.