Women’s Individual Pursuit
In Friday night’s gold medal final, Sarah Hammer USA had to dig deep as she found herself down by 3/10ths of a second to the reigning Olympic silver medalist, Kiwi Alison Shanks, heading into the final 1,000 meters of the race. Just as she did in 2006, 2007 and 2010 Hammer laid it down in the closing meters and earned her fourth women’s individual pursuit world title; reversing the deficit to Shanks by just nearly 3/10ths of a second.
“This one was so, so special because it was really close,” said Hammer following her victory. “I knew it was going to be that way from qualifying. I just wanted to keep it in the last kilo, and really that last 500, I knew I would just have to dig to the line. I could tell it was getting closer and closer with the way the crowd was, and that it was going to come down to that last final push. I wasn’t as confident in my individual pursuit just because I’ve been focusing a lot on the omnium. Finally my sprint training is starting to kick in!”
With two strong Australians, Josephine Tomic and Sarah Kent, dropping out of the competition and the absence of any British riders, all eyes were on the final match-up of former world champions in the morning’s qualifying. The pair did not disappoint, with Hammer turning it on in the middle-third to best Shanks by around 2/10ths of a second and set-up a gold medal re-match.
1. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH) Qualifying Time: 3:33.522 Finals Time: 3:32.933
2. Alison Shanks (NZL) Qualifying Time: 3:33.789 Finals Time: 3:33.229
3. Vilija Sereikaite (LTU) Qualifying Time: 3:38.073 Finals Time: 3:37.643
12. Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY 12) 3:49.616