Ireland’s Josie Knight has won a silver medal in the Junior Women’s Individual Pursuit at the UEC European U23/Junior Track Championships in Anadia, Portugal.
Knight earlier qualified for the final as the fastest qualifier, posting 2.29.467 for the 2km race, guaranteeing her a medal in the gold medal ride-off against Russia’s Daria Egorova, who had qualified a close second.
In the final, the Russian started fast and maintained her lead to take the European title. Knight’s silver medal is an incredible achievement, however, in her first major track championship.
The championships continue until Sunday.
Knight, who is a first-year junior, was the first rider on the track and knocked six seconds off the previous national record with her time of 2.29.467. In the final the Kerry rider once again rode a solid race, but Egorova proved too strong, pushing ahead by a second.
Head coach Brian Nugent was delighted with Knight’s performance: “That was a great performance, we are absolutely delighted. This is the first ever junior woman medalling at this level.”
Ryan Mullen finished the U23 Men’s Individual Pursuit in fifth place, agonisingly close to the bronze medal final.
Mullen won a bronze medal in this event last year, and came fourth in the Senior World Championships in Cali earlier this year. However, over the last few months Mullen has focused on the road, having won the National Road and Time Trial titles in the Irish Championships in June. Dylan Foley also competed in this event, finishing in 19th Place.
Cycling Ireland has been focusing on developing a pathway in track cycling over the past number of years and Nugent is happy with the progress so far.
“Each year we have expanded the programme, and invested more in development, and it is great to see so much aspiring new talent coming through. We have strong junior men and women’s teams, so today it is great to see Ireland’s first medal for junior women.”
Tomorrow will see six more bikes competing, with the focus being on the Men’s U23 Team Pursuit, and the Junior Men’s Individual Pursuit.
Junior Women’s Individual Pursuit:
1. D Egorova (RUS) 2.28.940. 2. Josie Knight (IRL) 2.29.669. 3 B Lust (NED) 2.29.811.
U23 Men’s Individual Pursuit:
1 S King (SUI) 4.18.794. 2 K Sveshnikov (RUS) 4.22.302. 3. Tom Bohli (SUI) 4.25.503. 5. Ryan Mullin (IRL) 4.26.481. 23. Dylan Foley (IRL) 4.38.946.
U23 Men Team Pursuit
1 Great Britain 4.12.443. 2 Russia 4.13.390 3. Switzerland 4.14.558. 10. IRELAND (Downey, Grimes, Mulholland, Ryan) 4.22.798.
U23 Team: Cormac Clarke, Eoin Mullen, Ryan Mullen, Shannon McCurley, Dylan Foley, Javan Nulty, Thomas Fallon.
Junior Team: Autumn Collins, Declan Mulholland, Fintan Ryan, Josie Knight, Mark Downey, Sean Grimes.
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