3 Sep 2015

Cycling in doubt for 2022 Commonwealth Games

11:15 am on 3 September 2015

Durban's successful bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games could spell disaster for the New Zealand track cycling team.

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The South African city has been approved as the host at the Federation's general assembly in Auckland this week.

Track cycling is one of the Commonwealth Games' optional sports and Durban does not have a velodrome capable of hosting the sport.

The South African government has said building a velodrome was not sustainable but they were open to discussions.

New Zealand won six gold medals - and 15 medals all up - in track cycling at last year's Glasgow Games.

Newly elected vice president of the Commonwealth Games Federation and New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive, Kereyn Smith, said the South African government's stance was concerning considering the strength of New Zealand's track cycling team.

She said track cycling was an important sport to leading Commonwealth nations and it was a very appealing sport in regards to broadcasting rights, so it certainly has an important part to play.

The lack of velodromes in Commonwealth countries surprised Smith, who said the sport did have some challenges ahead.

She said she hoped Durban could find a solution and there were continuing evolutions in the development of temporary veledromes.

She said Durban had an appetite to look at that possibility and they just needed some more resources to be brought to the table.

New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain are three of the leading track cycling nations in the world and they may be asked to help obtain a veledrome for the city in time for the 2022 Games.