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New boy Staff aims to topple Olympic champ Queally

23 July 2002

A BMX champion turned track cyclist is being widely tipped to be the sprinting sensation of the Manchester Commonwealth Games.

Jason Queally

Queally - under threat from newcomer Staff

Jamie Staff has won six national, two European and two world titles in BMX racing and is now relishing the prospect of a showdown with Olympic champion, and fellow Englishman, Jason Queally.

Staff had a dramatic introduction into track cycling in 1996 when his foot slipped off the pedals, causing him to topple over the handlebars. He broke his collar bone and had road rash from head to toe.

“It was a concrete track and I slid for about 40ft. The Lycra shorts I had on disintegrated. I had to go to the hospital to get scrubbed down and it was probably the most painful experience I have ever been through,” he said.

After a long break, Staff returned to the track and this season, and has asserted himself as a Commonwealth Games medal contender. At his second major event, the Moscow World Cup, he set the fourth fastest British time ever in the 1 kilometre time-trial, clocking 1:02.532.

Staff’s chances of striking Gold have increased considerably, after the winner four years ago, Australia’s Shane Kelly decided not to defend his title.

Manchester’s own Jason Queally is the current Olympic champion and national record holder, winning the Sydney Games two years ago in 1:01.609. Staff and Queally will go head-to-head at the National Cycling Centre on Sunday, 28 July.

“I’d love to beat him, but it is his sport and I hope he does good. I hope it’s an English one-two,” added Staff, who will also compete in the individual and team sprints.

Jamie will also looking forward to the warm reception he will receive from the three-and-a-half thousand spectators at the National Cycling Centre.

“I love a crowd,” he said. “Some people fall apart and some people rise. I’m one of those people who rise. I hope they scream as loud as they can shout. I’m going to be cheering them to scream louder so it makes my job easier.”

Info News Service/nc/jdc

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