HONG KONG (AP) — Denis Dmitriev became the first individual Russian male world champion in indoor cycling when he defeated the Netherlands’ Harrie Lavresen in the sprint race on Saturday, the fourth day of the world track cycling championships.
A bronze medalist in both last year’s world championships and the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Dmitriev did not lose a heat in the men’s sprint race.
New Zealand’s Ethan Mitchell edged Great Britain’s Ryan Owens for bronze.
“Really, I am so excited and I don’t know what to say,” said Dmitriev, who set a goal of winning gold in the event in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. “I try many times now. I have two bronze, two silver but never gold and never this jersey. It was my dream until today.”
Dmitriev was one of three Russians to claim a medal on Saturday. Daria Shmeleva won her first individual gold medal in the women’s 500-meter time trial, with last year’s winner and this year’s top qualifier, Anastasia Voinova, finishing third.
Shmeleva, ranked No. 6 in the world in the event, finished in 33.282 seconds. She beat Germany’s Miriam Welte, whose time of 33.382 seconds left her with silver.
Shmeleva and Voinova, who crossed the line in 33.454 seconds, have raced together since they competed on the junior circuit. They won gold in the women’s team sprint earlier in the week.
“From the human point of view … it is difficult because we are close to each other, we are friends, but here, we are all athletes and we should show what we can and we’re responsible for ourselves during the event,” Shmeleva said.
Chloe Dygert, who missed setting a world record in the qualifying round of the women’s individual pursuit by less than a second, won her second gold medal of the championships in the event with a time of 3 minutes, 24.641 seconds.
The 20-year-old American beat Australia’s Ashlee Ankudinoff, who finished in 3:31.784, in the final, and the United States’ Kelly Catlin won the bronze medal race in 3:30.365.
“It’s super special,” Dygert said. “This is my first individual elite gold medal so I’m going to treasure it. I’m really happy.”
Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky and Jolien D’Hoore led the women’s madison from the start and finished first with 44 points. Elinor Barker and Emily Nelson, from Great Britain, finished in second with 34 points, and despite two falls by Alexandra Manly after being bumped by teammate Amy Cure, the second-ranked Australians finished in third with 26 points.
“It feels incredible,” D’Hoore said. “It’s only the third time we (competed in the) madison. The first time was European championships, won it, and then second time just an international meeting in Gent, and now the world championships and we…