Track Cycling World Championships: Joanna Rowsell reaps reward for individual pursuit of gold
Second title for Briton to add to team triumph
Sunday 02 March 2014
A thrilled Joanna Rowsell recovered from a chest infection to claim a first individual Track Cycling World Championships title. After four team pursuit world titles – the first coming in 2008 and the most recent coming on day two here in Colombia – Rowsell upset the defending champion, Sarah Hammer of the US on the third day to win the women’s 3km individual pursuit, a title she has long coveted, and claim Britain’s second gold of the championships.
“It means the world to me,” said the 25-year-old from Cheam. “The team is obviously the priority – that’s what we train for, and I’ll live and die for those girls – but it was a really good chance for me to come here and do an individual event the day after the team pursuit. This has been a personal goal for me for a while, I just can’t believe I pulled it off.
“I love having a big target to work towards. I missed the worlds last year out of personal choice just to have a break, but I’ve been raring to go for this ever since this time last year. This time last year I was training with this in mind.”
In February Rowsell spent a period isolated from the rest of the squad. “I was ill with a chest infection two weeks ago so I missed three team training sessions, which in hindsight perhaps did me good, gave me a bit more rest,” she said.
“I wasn’t bed-bound, but I couldn’t train. I get pursuiter’s cough and that’s common, but I have asthma and it just affected me really badly and developed into a chest infection.”
The enforced break did not seem to have affected Rowsell as she recorded a personal best of 3min 30.318sec in the non-Olympic event to beat Hammer, who clocked 3:31.535.
“I woke up this morning feeling good, which is unusual after two 4k team pursuits the day before, riding from man (sic) one,” she said. “I was really pleased with my qualifying ride, just two tenths off my PB [personal best], but I can’t believe that ride just now. That’s a new PB for me on pretty much an outdoor track, with a five-spoke wheel and cooler conditions – everybody else went slower. I can’t believe I’ve done it, I can’t believe I went that quick.”
Becky James was unable to defend her women’s sprint title after being beaten 2-0 by her British team-mate Jess Varnish in the quarter-finals. Varnish won the second bout after tumbling to the track when stationary on the back straight. James shared a hug with her team-mate afterwards, and was angry at herself for her tactical selection.
The 22-year-old from Abergavenny, who responded by winning the race for fifth, said: “I’ve no idea why we decided to go for those tactics. It’s upsetting, because I wanted to defend my world title, especially after qualifying second. My legs felt great today.” James will bid to defend her keirin title today.
There were no hard feelings towards Varnish. “[We’re] really good friends off the track and worst enemies on the track,” James said. “That’s how sport is. We’ve both been practising track standing and slow riding together in Manchester. When I felt her hit my back wheel and I saw her tumble we both had a bit of a giggle.”
James was in good company as the Olympic champion, Anna Meares of Australia, was also eliminated. Her conqueror, Zhong Tianshi of China, meets Varnish in the semi-finals.
At the halfway point in the men’s omnium Britain’s London 2012 bronze medallist, Ed Clancy, was sixth, with France’s Thomas Boudat leading. Clancy won the flying lap, was 13th in the points race and eighth in the elimination race.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...