Hammer and Botticher each win second world title
MINSK, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Experienced American Sarah Hammer and young German rider Stefan Botticher each won their second gold medal of the world cycling championships, prevailing in the women’s omnium and the men’s sprint respectively on Sunday.
Hammer, who sealed her fifth world title in the individual pursuit on Wednesday, beat her main rival Laura Trott on the last day of the five-day championships to avenge her Olympic defeat to the British rider.
“This is my sixth gold (overall) and I’m so excited with my win,” the 29-year-old Californian, the only American who made the trip to the Belarus capital, told reporters.
“At the Olympics Laura was ahead of me but I always try to win, that’s why I trained hard. Now I’m really, really happy.
“I pursued three events here – it was a bit crazy, so I’m delighted to get two gold medals,” added Hammer, who also contested Friday’s 10-km scratch race.
Hammer, the overnight leader after the first three events on Saturday, extended her advantage after winning, as expected, her specialty – the pursuit.
She was fourth in the scratch race and sixth in the final discipline – the time trial – but had built up enough of a lead to win by four points over Trott, who took silver just ahead of Australian Annette Edmondson.
Botticher beat Russian Denis Dmitriev in the final to complete a sprint double after winning the team title with Rene Enders and Maximilian Levy on Thursday.
“Honestly, I’ve never even imagined winning two gold medals,” said the 21-year-old Botticher, who was competing on the junior circuit two seasons ago.
“My main objective was to do well in the team sprint, but after we won the gold there I had less pressure on me during the individual competition. The second gold was a nice bonus.”
Two more golds are up for grabs later on Sunday, with the women competing in Keirin and the men in the 50-km Madison race.