UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships: Germany claims two of four titles on fourth day
For the fourth and penultimate day, the UCI UCI Juniors Track Cycling World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, saw four athletes from three different nations win world titles.
The evening opened with the final of the Women’s Scratch, which turned out to be a European battle for the top two places. The Italian Elisa Balsamo finally got the better of Poland’s Justyna Kaczkowska, winner the day before in the individual pursuit. Australia’s Nicola MacDonald took bronze. One month after Elena Bissolaty’s title in the Junior European Championships, where Balsamo finished fifth, the new Junior World Champion confirms that Italy is one of the leading nations in the Scratch.
After winning the world Scratch title, the New Zealander Stewart Campbell made it a double by claiming gold in the Men’s Omnium with 191 points. "This is a step up,” he said after his first victory. “Hopefully it will raise me a level looking ahead to the Omnium starting tomorrow.” Apparently it did. His wins in the elimination, kilometre and flying lap enabled Campbell to get the better of Australian Rohan Wight (181 points), who was ahead in the individual pursuit and sprint. Germany’s Max Kanter claimed bronze with 156 points.
In the Men’s individual pursuit, the final for gold saw Germany’s Léo Appelt up against Poland’s Daniel Staniszewski, one of the big favourites after his victory in the European Championships in Athens. However it was the German athlete who claimed the rainbow jersey, with a time of 3:15.432 compared to Staniszewski’s 3:21.478. In the race for bronze, Australian Kelland O’Brien got the better of Canadian Evan Burtnik, confirming Australia’s depth of talent one year after the 2nd and 3rd places of Gough and Fitter in the same specialty at the 2014 Junior Worlds.
The final of the Women’s sprint closed the fourth day of competition in style. Germany’s Emma Hinze, double World Champion in the team sprint (2014 and 2015) and new world record holder was out for small revenge after “only” winning silver in the 500 metres. She succeeded against a very strong rival, Australian Courtney Field, outgoing World Champion. Russia’s Kseniya Bogoyavlenskaya finished third.
The final day of competition tomorrow will see the finals of the Women’s Omnium and keirin as well as the Men’s Madison and sprint.