The 2015 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships got underway on Thursday (26 March), at the Apeldoorn Velodrome, the Netherlands – and a crowd favourite did not hesitate to thrill.
Dutch athletes earned no less than four medals in time trial events, with Alyda Norbruis at the top of the list in the women’s C2 category.
The current World Champion, Norbruis took advantage of an enthusiastic audience in the velodrome, not only to retain her crown, but also to shatter her former world record by 0.043 seconds – a record established only a year ago at the 2014 World Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Covering 500m in 39.959 seconds, Norbruis bested China’s Zhenling Song who won silver in 44.520 seconds, and the USA’s Allison Jones who earned bronze in a time of 45.828 seconds.
Other Dutch winners were Amoud Nijhuis in the C1 category, the tandem team composed of Tristan Bangma and pilot Teun Mulder, as well as women’s tandem team of Larissa Klaassen and pilot Haliegh Dolman. All earned silver medals for their country.
China and Great Britain dominate
China and Great Britain each earned four World Championship titles on day one of the Worlds.
British athletes scored double honours in the women’s C5 class. Sarah Storey impressed, stopping the clock at 37.847 seconds to barely beat countrywoman Chrystal Lane (37.877). China’s Jufang Zhou scored herself a bronze thanks to a time of 38.586 seconds.
Sophie Thornill and pilot Helen Scott (1:07.553) also united their efforts to win tandem honours thanks to an ample lead of two seconds ahead of nearest rivals and silver medallists Dutch team Larissa Klaassen and Haliegh Dolman (1:09.505). The New Zealand tandem duo Emma Foy and Laura Fairweather (1:10.746) took the bronze medal and final step on the podium.
Neil Fachie and Peter Mitchel repeated British tandem wins for the men; the time of 1:01.787 was enough to better Dutch team Tristan Bangma and Teun Mulder (1:03.115), and German team Kai-Kristian Kruse and Stefan Nimke (1:03.450), who came in for third place.
Jody Cundy earned Great Britain’s fourth gold medal, this time in the C4 category, cycling 1km in a mere 1:04.381.
China also celebrated double medals in the C2 class. Hao Xie (1:15.497) and Guihua Liang (1:16.995 seconds) stepped onto the first and second steps of the podium respectively. The Czech Republic’s Ivo Koblasa (1:17.816) took the third step.
Still in men’s racing, Zhang Yu Li was thrilled to earn China a gold medal in the C1 category.
In women’s racing, China’s Jianping Ruan took top honours in the C5 class. The sole competitor in the C1 category, Jieli Li also earned China a gold medal.
The UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships will continue until Sunday (29 March). On Friday (27 March), 3000m individual time trial competitions for C1, C2, and C3 categories are scheduled to take place.
Full results are available at the UCI’s website.