The penultimate day of the 2019 Junior World Track Championships started with two qualifiers for the men’s omnium with 12 riders from each heat making it through to the four-discipline main event that was the central feature of Saturday’s programme.
The first heat saw Andrii Ponomar of the Ukraine take the honours over the 15km (60 lap) distance, a five-point sprint bonus on lap four securing his first place. Mexico’s Tomas Aguirre Garza and South Africa’s Tiano Da Silva finished second and third, respectively. Russia’s Denis Denisov dominated heat two thanks to a double-pointer (10 points) in the final sprint. Anton Corvaisier (FRA) and Denmark’s Frederik Wandahl were ranked second and third.
Next up was the women’s 500m time-trial qualifying round with the top eight riders advancing to the final. Clearly inspired by hers and the German success on Thursday, where the home country picked up two golds and one silver, Alessa-Catriona Propster went through fastest in a time of 35.163 and an average speed of 51.190km/hr. France’s Marie-Divine Kouamé registered the second-fastest time (35.221) with sprint bronze medallist Emma Finucane (GBR) third in 35.505.
The first event proper of the omnium was next to hit the velodrome at Frankfurt (Oder). The men’s scratch comprised 30 laps of 250m each for a 7.5km total. Austria’s Tim Wafler bagged top spot and, with it, clocked 40 points. Denmark's Wandahl finished second to secure 38 points while Australia's Graeme Frislie, finished third (36 points).
The men’s sprint rolled out next with keirin gold medallist Konstantinos Livanos beating Malaysia’s Muhammad Ridwan Sahrom over two heats to qualify for the semi-finals. Esow Alban, part of India’s team-sprint team who won the country’s first-ever junior worlds gold on the first day, maintained his fine form by beating Australia’s Sam Gallagher two-nil. Germany’s Julien Jager twice beat Russia’s Ivan Gladyshev, while yesterday’s fastest qualifier, Ronaldo Singh Laitonjam, succumbed to The Netherlands’ Daan Kool two-one.
Event two of the men’s omnium, the tempo, sees the riders complete 7.5km (30 laps), with intermediate sprints taking place every lap after the first five laps. New Zealand’s Laurence Pithie won 10 sprints to earn 40 points overall and take the omnium lead. Korea’s Youngkyun Park won five sprints in a row from lap 20 for five points and second in the tempo heat. It leaves Park third overall after two events. Frislie matched his third position of the scratch event to rise to second overall.
The women’s individual-pursuit qualifiers witnessed a superb performance from New Zealand’s Ally Wollaston: her fastest qualifying time of 2:18.687 was just 6/10ths off the world record of countrywoman Ellesse Andrews, set in 2017. Great Britain’s Elynor Backstedt, already with a bronze medal to her name, finished second (2:19.869) and would face Wollaston in the afternoon’s final. Ireland’s Lara Gillespie finished third in 2:20.438. The Irish rider will seek bronze against Russia’s Mariia Miliaeva.
The women’s points race qualifiers saw the world’s best face 40 laps (10km) with 12 riders from each heat progressing to the evening’s 20km final. Spain’s Naia Amondarain Gaztanaga won the final double-point sprint to qualify first in heat one followed by Mexico’s Yareli Acevedo Mendoza, with France’s Floriane Huet in third. Portugal’s Daniela Campos won heat two courtesy of lapping the main pack. Colombia’s Maria Camila Atahualpa Ortiz finished second ahead of the Italian Matilde Vitillo in third.
The afternoon action began with the eagerly-awaited women’s 500m time-trial final. The fifth rider to go, Finucane, looked to have set a gold-medal-winning time of 35.264, but Kouamé, next up, bettered that effort with a time of 34.868. Last off was the favourite, Propster. The crowd roared – loudly! – but the German just missed out on gold, with a time of 34.907 to take bronze.
Round three of the men’s omnium, the elimination, was up next and leader after two rounds, Pithie stretched his lead with a superb victory, the 40 points giving him a total of 114 going into the final round. France’s Antonin Corvaisier finished second in the elimination to climb to sixth overall; Frislie racked up his hat-trick of third positions for second overall; and Park sits in third overall.
Livanos looked favourite in his men’s sprint semi-final against Kool, but the Dutchman raced superbly to take the first of the best-of-three duels. The Greek, however, has the look of a real champion, dug deep and won the next two heats for a final spot. There, he’ll face Esow Alban, who also overturned a first-heat loss to beat Jager. Alban would look to win India’s second-ever junior medal later in the evening.
The 80-lap, 20km women’s points race rolled onto the track and it looked ominous for the rest when America’s Megan Jastrab, who’d won omnium gold, outsprinted everyone for a first-lap five-pointer. But it wasn’t to be for Jastrab as Tsuyaka Uchino accumulated 41 points to claim Japan’s first gold medal – in fact, first medal – of the 2019 Junior Track World Championships. Russia’s Valeria Golayeva took silver with Mexico’s Yareli Acevedo Mendoza third.
The women’s individual-pursuit third-and-fourth battle went the way of Ireland’s Gillespie – also earning her country’s first medal of these Games. Gillespie beat Russia’s Miliaeva. The final proved a thrilling affair between New Zealand’s Wollaston and Great Britain’s Backstedt. The Kiwi carved out an imposing lead at the 1,000m halfway point but the Brit slowly reeled in the leader. But Backstedt just couldn’t catch Wollaston who won gold in 2:18.900. Backstedt won silver in 2:19.078.
Fifteen points in the first five sprints of the points race assured New Zealand’s Pithie of omnium gold. Frislie (AUS) had a barren run of sprints but had done enough in the previous three disciplines to retain silver. Park also retained bronze.
The final event of the day was the men’s sprint finals. First up, the battle for bronze between Kool (NED) and Jager (GER)… and one which the Dutchman stormed over two heats.
Then came the contest for gold – and just like the junior men’s keirin earlier in the competition, Greece’s Livanos won out over India’s Alban – but this time Livanos didn’t have it all his own way. He won the first heat but the Indian rider came storming back to level it. Livano wasn’t to be deterred, however, and won his second – and Greece’s second – gold of the championships.
Medal Table after Day 4
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