Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Ellesse Andrews still coming to terms with triple golden haul

Ellesse Andrews' success at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games still hasn't sunk in, after becoming the third New Zealander to win three gold medals in a single campaign.

With victory in the women's keirin on Tuesday morning, Andrews stood on top of the dais for the third time at Birmingham, already having won the sprint and team sprint events.

Andrews, 22, became just the third Kiwi athlete to win three golds at a Commonwealth Games, joining Dame Yvette Williams in in 1954 and Gary Anderson in 1990.

Ellesse Andrews celebrates.
Ellesse Andrews celebrates. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

And not long after, Aaron Gate added his own name to that list when he won the men's 40km points race.

For Andrews, who also won silver in the keirin at the Tokyo Olympics last year, coming away from Birmingham with three golds tops any expectation that she had when arriving at the Games.

"Honestly, it's going to take a really long time to sink in," Andrews said.

"I wanted to come to this competition, do my absolute best and leave it all out on the track.

"But for that to result in three golds, I never would have dreamed of that."

Andrews' achievements are even more impressive given her build-up to Birmingham was hit by contracting COVID-19.

But for Andrews herself, that sickness could have been a blessing in disguise, giving her some time away from training to concentrate on what was to come.

"It wasn't ideal - obviously," she added. "I tested positive two and a half weeks ago.

"It was quite hard, knowing that we had this really big competition coming up - and I wanted to be at my best for it.

"I had a lot of rest. I wasn't overly ill, but it wasn't amazing either.

"I'm so happy I overcame that - maybe the rest was a good thing for my body - and I could come into racing and smash it." 

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