Former Sydney University student Kaarle McCulloch yesterday started her Commonwealth Games campaign strongly, claiming a silver medal in the 500m cycling time trial event.

McCulloch, who studied a Bachelor of Education in Human Movement course, finished second with a time of 34.780 seconds to training partner, and fellow Australian, Anna Meares (33.758 seconds).

The 23-year-old sprint star wasn’t always going to be a cyclist. At age 17, having been a successful middle distance runner throughout school, McCulloch was struggling for motivation in athletics. She briefly took up triathlons, and when it was discovered that her bike leg of the race was her strongest, she was convinced to try track cycling.

McCulloch will today team up with time trial gold medallist Anna Meares in the women’s team sprint, with the Australian duo, two time defending world champions, expected to take gold.