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Para cycling

UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships: Five Champions Hang On to Their Crowns

Slovakia’s Jozef Metelka ensured himself of gold in the Men’s 4000 meter Pursuit Race final in the C4 class.
Slovakia’s Jozef Metelka ensured himself of gold in the Men’s 4000 meter Pursuit Race final in the C4 class.

Numerous athletes who took to the velodrome Saturday, at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn (The Netherlands), were able to hang on to championship crowns earned at the 2014 World Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Emma Foy (New Zealand), Susan Powell (Australia), Sarah Storey (Great Britain), Jozef Metelka (Slovakia), and Michael Gallagher (Australia) all once again donned the rainbow jersey for a second consecutive year.

In the Women’s 3000 meter Pursuit Race in the Blind or Vision-Impaired category, New Zealand’s Emma Foy and her pilot Laura Fairweather defeated Japan’s duo of Yurie Kanuma and Mai Tanaka (pilot). “It was our goal and we achieved it – we’re incredibly happy!” enthused Foy.

In the battle for third place, Ireland’s Katie-George Dunlevy and pilot Eve McCrystal beat out Britons Lora Turnham and Lauryn Therin (pilot) by a mere 0.101 of a second.

Australia’s Susan Powell – current World Record holder in the C4 class in the Women’s 300 meter Pursuit Race – vigorously defended her title and jersey, trouncing American athlete Megan Fisher by a wide margin of over 4 seconds. Fellow American Shawn Morelli earned herself the bronze medal.

Still in women’s competition but in the C5 category, British athlete Sarah Storey continued making her presence known on the Apeldoorn track. Just days ago on Thursday, Storey climbed to the top of the podium in the 500 meter Time Trial event. Saturday, Storey – World Record holder in the 3000 meter Pursuit event – hunted down Poland’s Anna Harkowska before they reached the finish line, handing the British athlete the victory. The same strategy repeated itself in the bronze medal final with American athletes Greta Neimanas and her teammate Jennifer Schuble.

Metelka and Gallagher Remain on Top

Slovakia’s Jozef Metelka (photo) laid down the proverbial law in the Men’s 4000 meter Pursuit Race final in the C4 class. Metelka ensured himself of gold when he caught eventual silver medallist, Romania’s Carol-Eduard Novak; Metelka also will keep his rainbow jersey and title for another year. Rounding out the podium was Colombia’s Diego German Duenas Gomez.

“This is fantastic! In Mexico, I was maybe a bit lucky to earn the World Championships title. Today (Saturday), I confirmed that I could still be on top of the podium here, and I hope to continue my successes,” explained Metelka, current World Record holder in the distance, who was also quoted as saying he was surprised to have caught his competitor.

In an all-Australia final, Michael Gallagher won over fellow countryman Alistair Donohoe in the C5 4000 meter Pursuit Race. The Ukraine’s Yehor Dementyev earned the bronze medal.

“Alistair is a great friend and roommate. We were assured gold and silver medals, so we didn’t feel too much pressure in the finals,” said gold medallist Gallagher.

The Netherland’s tandem team of Stephen De Vries and pilot Patrick Bos thrilled the crowd not only by being the fastest in qualifications, but also in the gold medal round. De Vries and Bos bested Australia’s Matt Formston and Michael Curran (pilot), with the winners maintaining an average speed of 55.107 km/h during the 4000 meter race.

In the bronze medal final, Poland’s tandem team of Marcin Polak and pilot Michal Ladosz defeated Spain’s duo of Ignacio Avila Rodriguez and Joan Font Bertoli (pilot).

The UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships will come to an end Sunday. Events are broadcast live from 11.25 GMT on the web at tv.uci.ch

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