The Rio 2018 World Track Para Cycling has come to an end on Sunday (March 25) as teams felt pleased with the outcomes achieved in Brazil not only on the track. Many athletes and members of coaching staffs of the 30 participating countries praised the event, which took place at the Olympic Park Velodrome, home of para cycling during Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Five new world records were set in the first competition in which athletes could collect ranking points towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“It has been a really good competititon and the organisers have really taken the task well. It has developed quite well in the days leading up to the event and we had here some aspects that we had never had before, like the medical support that was fantastic. The general atmosphere has been fantastic, the volunteers… The competition has showed some new athletes, world records, it has been overall really good”, said Jon Pett, para cycling programme manager for Great Britain.
The 18 medals put Great Britain in position to lead the medal table with 11 golds, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals.
Athletes also were very complimentary as was the case with Jozef Metelka from Slovakia. After claiming his fifth straight world title in the men’s C4 individual pursuit, he said he was pleased to come back to the Velodrome in Rio. “I’m really, really happy that this velodrome is being used. It’s marvelous we could compete here again. I don’t think it has happened before that right after the Paralympics we can compete in the same venue. I’m proud that the UCI and the organisers worked together for this to happen.”
Eelke Van Der Wal, head coach of the Dutch national team, said: “After Rio 2016, we are very happy to come back here and compete again. Just to see the Olympic Park and the Velodrome is really nice, especially to relive the good memories. The track is still fantastic, with friendly people and the organization was nothing short of perfect.”
Great Britain reaffirmed its dominance on the last day of the event. In the mixed team’s 750m sprint, Louis Rolfe, Jon-Allan Butterworth and Jody Cundy beat Chinese Zhangyu Li, Guoping Wei e Shanzhang Lai in 49s915 to claim the gold medal. Spain’s Amador Alkorta, Eduardo Asensio e Alfonso Llamas were the bronze medalists.
In the women’s B 200m sprint, the gold went again to Sophie Thornhill, who won two in the best-of-three series against Australia’s Jessica Gallagher. Griet Hoet, from Belgium, got the bronze. In the men’s version of the event, British Neil Fachie got the best of Tristan Bangma, of The Netherlands: 2-0. James Ball (GBR) finished third.
Full results from Rio can be found here: http://paraworlds2018.veloresults.com/index.php