Yumi Kajihara on Friday became the first Japanese woman to be crowned as a world track cycling champion as she claimed gold in the omnium, while Italy’s Filippo Ganna kept the records tumbling with a masterful day of riding.
Olympic omnium champion Laura Kenny, recovering from a broken shoulder, crashed heavily in the opening scratch race, which Kajihara won — the 22-year-old never looked back.
Kajihara built her lead with a second-place finish in the tempo race, a third-place finish in the elimination event and easily protected her advantage in the points race, the last discipline.
Italy’s Letizia Paternoster was second, with Poland’s Daria Pikulik third.
“I’m very, very happy,” Kajihara said. “My ultimate goal is to get the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.”
Germany’s new sprint star Emma Hinze produced the loudest roars of the day as she outpaced Russia’s Anastasia Voinova to win the individual sprint, having won the team event.
Watched by reigning Olympic sprint champion Kristina Vogel, who was left paralyzed after a training accident in 2018, the 22-year-old Hinze proved that she would be one to watch in Tokyo.
“I didn’t expect this, but I felt strong,” Hinze said. “I learned a lot watching Kristina, that even if it doesn’t work at first, you stick at it and you can win.”
Italy’s Ganna was a dominant force on the Berlin boards on his way to gold in the men’s individual pursuit — his fourth world title in the event.
Ganna easily beat Ashton Lambie of the US in the final, standing up as he crossed the line, but the real fireworks came earlier when he clocked 4:01.934 for the 4km distance.
A relentless ride saw him beat his previous record of 4:02.647.
Although his pace in the final slowed, it was more than enough to overpower Lambie and collect a silver after leading Italy to bronze in the team pursuit.
Ganna’s world record was the sixth in three days at the championships after Denmark’s men broke the team pursuit record three times on the way to gold and the Netherlands’ men twice lowered the world record to take the team sprint.
The Netherlands took their gold-medal haul to four, as Sam Ligtlee won the 1km men’s time trial.
Ligtlee, 22, beat two Frenchmen to claim his first rainbow jersey, dipping below one minute to clock 59.495 seconds.
Quentin Lafargue, fastest in qualifying, could not match him, crossing in 59.749, while Michael D’Almeida was third.
New Zealand struck gold in the shape of teenager Corbin Strong who lapped the field to win the men’s points race.
Kajihara will travel back to Japan having announced herself as a genuine threat to omnium title holder Kenny.
“It was my mum’s [Yuri] birthday today and she was here to watch me,” Kajihara said. “It couldn’t have gone any better today. After the first three events, I knew I was comfortable.”
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