Becky James’s incredible Track World Championship campaign continued today as she eased in to the semi-finals of the women’s sprint. Having already picked up two bronze medals in Minsk in the last two days, 21-year-old James qualified fastest for the sprint with a personal best time of 10.957 seconds over 200m.
That saw her get a bye in the first match sprint round. In the 1/8 finals she dispatched of Cuban Lisandra Guerra with ease before meeting the more experience Kaarle McCulloch (Australia) in the quarter-finals.
McCulloch, although never before a challenger for an individual sprint medal, is a three-time world champion in the team sprint and not an easy opponent. But James made light work of her too.
In their first race James came past McCulloch and gapped her before the line, in the second race she lead from the front and the Australian could do nothing more than get level with her rear wheel.
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That means James will get in to one of the medal rides tomorrow, and the very real possibility of winning a third medal. She faces China’s Shuang Guo in the semi-final, Kristina Vogel (Germany) and the rapidly improving Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong) meet in the other semi.
If James can beat Guo she will be assured of a silver medal, if she loses she still has the chance to race for the bronze medal.
“I’m really happy with qualifying, I didn’t expect to qualify first,” James said. “My legs are feeling good and I’m just looking forward to racing again tomorrow.”
“This is my first year stepping up as a senior and actually getting in the top eight. This is my first year getting through the first round of the sprint so it’s really exciting to get a day of racing.”
Becky James warms up
Becky James wait for results to come through as she qualifies fastest for sprint