Wales wing George North driven on by his cycling queen Becky James

Wales wing inspired by the record-breaking exploits of his girlfriend at world championships

George North has been teased by teammates following his girlfriend Becky James's record haul at the Track Cycling World Championships – but he insists it will only drive him to success. The Wales wing and the cycling queen are fast becoming the golden couple of British sport.

James took four medals including two golds at the world championships in Minsk to put her rugby-playing boyfriend, currently playing in the Six Nations, in the shadows.

North, 20, kept a close eye on Belarus via television coverage and internet streams whenever he could between the preparations for and celebrations after Wales's 26-9 victory in Italy.

North's Wales colleagues claim he is the lesser athlete in the relationship, but he insists that will only inspire him. He said: "It was awesome. I watched some of it live in between training and the Italy game. It was pretty hard to keep up, with the time difference and then the build-up to the match and all the boys on the internet slowing the feed down!

"Becky works so hard, focuses on herself, and went there with confidence and it showed. I've had more banter from the boys than from her. They're giving me the standard stuff and Ryan Jones tweeted saying I'm the second-best athlete [in the relationship].

"At the moment she's probably the best known of us and it's just deserts – the first British athlete to get four medals at the world championships. It's a massive achievement.

"If you look at any elite sport, athletes bounce off each other. She is doing really well at the moment and hopefully I can keep up my end of the bargain in the Six Nations."

It is something 21-year-old James clearly agrees with and she believes the shared support and understanding is integral to their individual success. She says North's match-winning try in the victory over France – where the wing's father David raced on to the pitch – helped fire her to glory.

James added: "It's great because we go through the same things. If I'm stressed out with cycling I know he has gone through the same thing in rugby, so we can talk about it and forget it. It makes it so much easier.

"We definitely bounce off each other and drive each other on. When I see him score a try, that just makes me want to perform and I'm sure it's the same for George. But it's the same for me and I was luckily sitting by the BBC guys and they were keeping me up to date with the rugby scores. I have a couple of weeks off now and I'm just looking forward to being able to relax and support him in the Six Nations."

James has already been dubbed the new Victoria Pendleton but North says she will handle the pressure.

"I don't think it's a celebratory status. It's different, it's massive sport," he said. "It's obviously huge for Becky but she's a level-headed girl. Since I met her she has never changed and I don't think she ever will.

"That has been shown in her mental preparation to get where she has with an incredible achievement."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine