31 January 2020

Cundy kicks off Track World Championships in style

It may be getting more difficult with age but Jody Cundy was ecstatic to claim his 12th successive kilo world title as he secured Britain’s first gold medal of the Para-cycling Track World Championships in Milton, Canada.

The seven-time Paralympic gold medallist across swimming and cycling, 41, clocked a time of one minute 5.087 seconds in the C4 kilo – almost a second quicker than his nearest rival – to add another rainbow jersey to his collection.

And there was success elsewhere too as Kadeena Cox won WC4 500m silver, Jaco van Gass took MC3 pursuit silver and Dame Sarah Storey claimed bronze in the WC5 500m.

Cundy said: “It’s our first world title of the championships, and it feels pretty awesome to be doing it at my age…but I am finding out that it gets more difficult!”

In the WC4 500m, Canada’s Kate O’Brien posted a stunning time of 35.233s first up to break the world record Cox had set at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Nobody else was able to get close to that marker but Cox’s effort of 36.653s was enough to win silver.

Meanwhile, van Gass was edged out by Australia’s defending champion David Nicholas in the final of the MC3 pursuit.

Despite the Briton having the upper hand for much of the final, the Australian finished the stronger, overhauling van Gass with a lap and a half to go, and eventually winning by half a second – while Fin Graham took fifth.

He said: “It’s the one that got away. I’ve got mixed emotions – I’m extremely happy and proud of my performance, but when it comes down to such a close margin as that, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.”

In the WC5 500m, Storey started the 20th World Championship of her career with a bronze medal.

Storey posted a time of 38.210s to take third behind France’s Marie Patouillet (37.547s) and the Netherlands’ Caroline Groot (36.159s).

Elsewhere, Jon-Allan Butterworth just missed out on a medal in the MC5 kilo as his time of 1m05.796s held the lead until deep into the event before he eventually finished fourth.

Teammates Jon Gildea (1m06.184s) and Blaine Hunt (1m06.762) were fifth and sixth respectively.

In the MC2 pursuit, both Matthew Robertson and Louis Rolfe set personal best times on their way to sixth and seventh positions respectively.

Cycling World Championship debutant Sam Ruddock clocked 4m29.747s in the MC1 pursuit to earn 13th place in an event which saw the three fastest times in history all recorded in the morning’s qualification session.

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