Track Cycling World Championships: Brilliant Joanna Rowsell wins individual pursuit gold
Joanna Rowsell won gold in the individual pursuit at the Track Cycling World Championships in Colombia.
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 01/03/14 12:02pm
The 25-year-old Briton had qualified 0.9 seconds slower than her American opponent earlier in the day, but turned the tables in emphatic style with a dominant performance in the final.
She was already one second ahead by the end of the first lap and maintained that advantage for the rest of the 3km distance, crossing the line 1.2 seconds ahead of Hammer, a five-time world champion in the event, in a personal-best time of 3min 30.318sec.
The triumph came just 24 hours after she took gold in the team pursuit and despite her having been ill in the build-up to the championships.
"I can't quite believe it," Rowsell, who has now won five world titles, said afterwards. "I trained to do the team pursuit - that is the priority. It's a great opportunity to ride the individual pursuit and I was full of confidence from last night.
'Over the moon'
"I was raring to go today. I was pleased with my ride in qualifying, but I can't believe that ride just now. It is a new personal best and I'm absolutely over the moon. It means the world to me. This has been a personal goal for me for a while. I just can't believe I pulled it off.
"I was ill with a chest infection two weeks ago, so I missed three team training sessions, which in hindsight perhaps did me good. [It] gave me a bit more rest."
Australia's Amy Cure claimed the bronze medal after a closely fought victory over Ukraine's Ganna Solovei.
In the women's individual sprint, Jess Varnish booked a place in the semi-finals after winning her all-British quarter-final against defending champion Becky James 2-0.
Varnish, who is still searching for top form following a career-threatening back injury, dominated James in both races and will now face Tianshi Zhong in the last four. Defending champion Kristina Vogel, of Germany, will take on China's Junhong Lin in the other semi.
Avila strikes gold
The men's points race provided one of the highlights of the championships so far, with Colombia's Edwin Avila, who is from the host city of Cali, claiming gold after an action-packed 40km.
To the delight of a raucous home crowd, Avila, who also won the title in 2011, mounted multiple attacks and eventually prevailed ahead of New Zealand's Thomas Scully and Spain's Eloy Teruel in a thrilling spectacle.
In the men's omnium, Britain's Ed Clancy lies sixth overall after three of the six events. He won the first event, the flying lap, but then fell down the leaderboard after finishing 13th in the points race and eighth in the elimination race. France's Thomas Boudat leads the competition overnight.
In the men's 1km time trial, France's Francois Pervis successfully defended his title by stopping the clock in 59.385 seconds, which was the fastest time ever recorded at the world championships.
It was the 29-year-old's second gold medal of the championships after his victory in the keirin on Thursday. Germany's Joachim Eilers won silver and New Zealand's Simon van Velthooven took bronze.