Russia's women extend dominance of track cycling sprints
GLASGOW - Daria SHMELEVA had mixed emotions as she extended Russia's domination of the women's track cycling sprint events on the fourth day of competition at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Emirates Arena on Sunday.
SHMELEVA powered to the individual sprint gold medal in a tense final with Anastasiia VOINOVA (RUS), with whom she had won gold in the team event on Friday for the fourth UEC championships in a row.
"It's a challenge, you know, from the moral aspect," SHMELEVA said. "We know each other well, we know everything (about each other) and we are together for many years, so it was difficult for me to do it."
In the women's elimination race earlier on Sunday, four-time Olympic champion Laura KENNY (GBR) coasted to the 12th European track cycling gold medal of her career despite enduring "about five" interruptions to her pre-race night's sleep from her 12-month-old son, Albie.
"If you'd asked me if I would be a mum with four gold medals and 12 European golds, I would have been like, 'nah, that's not the way my life's gonna pan out', and here we are," KENNY said.
"I didn't even realise how many (medals) I had until after the team pursuit, and I was like, 'oh fair play, that's quite a lot of gold'."
At the other end of the career spectrum, serial podium finisher Domenic WEINSTEIN (GER) won his first gold at elite level as he held off the spirited challenge of Portugal's Ivo OLIVEIRA in the men's individual pursuit.
"In the last years I was in second place, third place and every time it's a little bit sad when I'm not on the top of the podium. So now it's amazing to win here in this race," WEINSTEIN said.
Claudio IMHOF (SUI) continued his successful championships, adding bronze to his silver in the team pursiut and bronze in the omnium.
In the men's points race, Wojciech PSZCZOLARSKI (POL) broke from the peleton, monopolised the early sprint bonuses and lapped the bunch on four occasions on his way to an incredible 102 points and the gold medal.
"The points race is a long competition but I trust my legs and I love pain," he said.
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