Manchester, Great Britain (March 27, 2008)—
The United States Cycling Team claimed its first medal of the 2008 UCI Track Cycling World Championships on Thursday as Sarah Hammer
(Temecula, Calif.) finished second in the women’s individual pursuit. Her silver-medal performance marked her third consecutive visit to the podium at the world championships after winning back-to-back world titles in 2006 and ’07.
photo Sarah Hammer/US Cycling
As a medalist at this year’s world championships, Hammer will earn an automatic nomination to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.
After earning the second seed with a mark of 3:31.041 in her qualifying round against Rebecca Romero (GBR), the pair later met again in the gold-medal final for the second straight year. In the final, Hammer recorded a 3:37.006 while Romero clocked a track record 3:30.501 to earn the world title.
“The biggest thing for me was making the Olympic Team,” commented Hammer of her medal-winning performance. “That is a big honor in itself.”
After winning three consecutive bronze medals on the UCI Track World Cup circuit this season, Hammer’s silver medal at the world championships illustrates her recovery from a lingering back injury that has hampered her training and racing over the last eight months.
“It’s easy to get caught up in winning the final ride,” Hammer continued, “but more importantly I feel like myself again. Now it’s just a matter of getting it dialed in before August. I dreamt of just being in the top four today, so it’s great motivation for me right now to win the silver.”
With the Olympic Games less than five months away, a handful of athletes have emerged as medal contenders in the pursuit. In addition to Hammer and Romero, Thursday’s bronze medalist Katie Mactier (AUS) and fourth-place finisher Wendy Hovenhagel (GBR) also stand a likely chance to compete for medals in Beijing.
Friday’s competition will feature a pair of Americans with medal potential as Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.) will compete in the women’s sprint and Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.) will line up for the men’s points race.
Cycling fans can watch the action live online at www.WCSN.com.
2008 UCI Track Cycling World Championships
Manchester, Great Britain
Day Two Results:
Women’s Individual Pursuit
1. Rebecca Romero (GBR) 3:30.501
2. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif.) 3:37.006
3. Katie Mactier (AUS) 3:32.347