Aussie cyclist sizzles on track despite his cancer battle
DESPITE battling cancer, sprint star Matthew Glaetzer has continued to inspire his Australian teammates at the Brisbane World Cup track cycling round.
At his final meet before undergoing treatment, the two-time world champion is aiming to be a medal threat after comfortably winning his heat and cruising into the Keirin second round on Saturday.
The 27-year-old is showing no sign of slowing down despite receiving health news that would stop many in their tracks.
In his first event since being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Glaetzer won Keirin bronze at last weekend's World Cup round in New Zealand.
Now barely a month after his health scare, he has staked an early medal claim at Brisbane's Anna Meares Velodrome with his impressive effort on Saturday.
"He is real eager to keep going. He doesn't want to step away," Glaetzer's Australian star teammate Sam Welsford said.
"It is motivating the rest of the team just the way he gives 100 per cent every day."
Glaetzer will receive treatment after the Brisbane round but is still hopeful of contesting February's world titles and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Four World Cup gold medals will be up for grabs on Saturday night including the Keirin title.
Former Australian cyclist Shane Perkins, now riding for Russia, won't feature in the Keirin final after recovering from a nasty first-round crash before being eliminated in the repechage.
A former world champion for Australia, Perkins crashed out with Malaysia's Azizulhasni Awang and Poland's Krzysztof Maksel but was able to limp off the track.
Japan's Tomoyuki Kawabata was later disqualified when officials found him guilty of causing the accident.
Perkins later missed another chance to move through to the second round when he finished fourth in his repechage heat.
Meanwhile, Australia's Stephanie Morton is on track to threaten for a women's sprint medal on Saturday night after being forced to eliminate her teammate Kaarle McCulloch in the quarter-finals.
Morton and McCulloch are teammates in the world champion team sprint outfit but suddenly became foes when drawn to go head to head in the best of three quarters.
Morton moved through to the semi-finals with the gold medal race also to be held on Saturday night.
Gold will also be decided in the men's Omnium and women's Madison on night two of the three-day meet.