Becky James powers to keirin & sprint golds at track world championships

Becky James added two golds to her medal haul at the Track Cycling World Championship over the weekend when she took out Saturday’s individual sprint title and Sunday’s keirin.

The 21-year-old from Abergavenny, Wales is the first British rider ever to win four medals at a single World Championships, firmly establishing herself as British cycling’s successor to the recently-retired double Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton.

Courtesy of British Cycling, here’s a huge gallery of images of Becky and omnium silver medallist Laura Trott.


In Saturday’s sprint Becky overcame Germany’s Kristina Vogel in an enthralling final to win her first World Championship title. Kristina won the first heat of the three, but Becky came back to beat Vogel 2-1.

“It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe this has just happened to me,” said James. “I’m world champion and I can’t believe it.

“I didn’t know if I’d run the first run quite right. We went over the tactics right after. I really wanted to win this so I sat down, kept myself calm and thought about what I wanted to do in the next round, did it, and did it again in the third.”

The 21-year-old, who has already won team sprint and 500m time trial bronze, added: ”I didn’t think I’d get a single medal – I was hoping to get top eight in everything. I can’t believe I got a rainbow jersey.”

Keirin and omnium

Becky completed her and Team GB’s cominaiton of these world championships on Sunday when she won her second gold in the keirin.

James led the keirin final from start to finish to stake her claim as British cycling’s successor to the recently-retired double Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton.

“Oh my gosh. I can’t believe it. Wow. It’s going to take a good week for it to sink in, or two weeks, or a month,” said James.

“I just need someone to pinch me and tell me if it’s really happening to me. I feel like it’s a complete dream apart from the pain in my legs.”

Meanwhile, Laura Trott lost her world omnium title after finishing second behind America’s Sarah Hammer in the six-discipline event.

The Olympic champion started the day in the bronze medal position and jumped up a step on the podium but the 21-year-old was unable to overhaul Hammer.

“A better rider beat me on the day. What more can I do?” said Trott, whose 10th place finish in the omnium’s points race on Saturday effectively ended her chances of gold.

“After the points race, I am happy to come away with a medal, so to end up with silver I am super happy.”

Great Britain ended the five-day championship top of the medal table with nine medals in total, of which five were gold, despite a young squad which included six World Championship debutants.

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