Trio win gold

  • Last Updated: February 21 2013, 20:35 GMT

Olympic champions Laura Trott and Dani King celebrated a third successive Track Cycling World Championships women's team pursuit title as Elinor Barker savoured her first rainbow jersey in Minsk.

Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker: Won gold
Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker: Won gold

On day two of competition at the Minsk Arena, there was a second medal for Becky James, two historic medals for Ireland's Martyn Irvine, disappointment for Britain's men's team sprint squad and a seemingly predictable victory for Britain's women's team pursuit trio.

A fifth World Championships title in six years means Trott and King are unbeaten in the three-woman, three-lap event since February 2011, when representing a junior British team at the Manchester Track World Cup. They have won three world titles in three attempts and London 2012 Olympic gold in that time.

Barker, the 18-year-old schoolgirl from Cardiff, slotted in seamlessly to the space vacated by Joanna Rowsell, who opted to focus on the road after combining with Trott and King to clock six successive world records in winning world and Olympic gold in 2012.

The Llanishen School A Level student won the junior world time-trial title at the Road World Championships last September and was thrilled with adding a senior track crown.

"It's a big shock. It hasn't really sunk in yet," she said.

"The junior time-trial was expected. I had been working towards it for a whole year.

"I've done a lot of team pursuit work, but always with a view to being the best that I can be, rather than being the best in the world."

In the end it appeared a simple win. After qualifying almost two seconds clear of Australia, Britain finished the final in three minutes 18.140 seconds, with Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Melissa Hoskins 1.773secs adrift.

Barker has had just two days at school this year due to cycling and the weather. The last time she returned victorious there was a celebration in the common room, with U2's Beautiful Day blasting out of the stereo and confetti thrown.

"I just went bright red and it was nice, but it was horrible at the same time," added Barker, who has been continuing her Biology and PE studies while in Belarus.

Barker has provided a fresh input into the squad and was so keen to contribute she volunteered to perform two arduous one-and-a-half-lap turns at the front of the three-rider train.

Barker's focus was on her first effort at the front.

"That's all I've been thinking about the last few days: control that first turn and then the rest of the ride will come," she said.

The event was added to the World Championships programme in 2008 and Britain have won every time apart from in Copenhagen in 2010.

With the event poised to increase to 4km and four riders after this competition, Barker is likely to be an integral member of the squad for years to come.

King, at 22 the eldest in the team, added: "She's going to be a key part of the team in the future.

"We just work really hard and come together as a team. We ride as one not three individuals.

"We've got so much trust in each other and belief. That's key, every time we get on the line."

While many athletes have spoken of a London 2012 hangover, Trott, double Olympic champion and defending her world omnium title this weekend, dismissed the suggestion.

"No way," said Trott, who will not be 21 until April. "Who wouldn't want to win another stripy jumper?"

Three-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny, Trott's boyfriend, missed out on adding a world title in the men's team sprint as Britain finished sixth.

Philip Hindes, Kenny and Kian Emadi clocked 44.270secs as Germany's Rene Enders, Stefan Botticher and Maximilian Levy won gold in 43.495. New Zealand were second and France third.

Hindes and Kenny won London 2012 gold with Sir Chris Hoy, who is currently on sabbatical as he considers his future, with 20-year-old Emadi taking the Scot's place in his first senior World Championships.

Los Angeles in 2005 was the last time Britain's men won the team sprint at a World Championships, when Hoy combined with Jamie Staff and Jason Queally, meaning that curiously Kenny has two Olympic titles but none in the annual global event.

James, who won women's team sprint bronze with Vicky Williamson on day one, added an individual third place in the women's 500m time-trial.

The 21-year-old from Abergavenny was the first to ride and set the standard of 34.133, a personal best, but Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze won in 33.973 and Miriam Welte of Germany was second in 33.996.

Williamson finished 11th in a personal best of 35.409.

Two non-Olympic events featured success for Ireland's Irvine, who claimed individual pursuit silver behind Australia's Michael Hepburn.

An hour later Irvine went one better with gold in the men's scratch race. Owain Doull of Britain was fifth.


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