HONG KONG — Russia and New Zealand won the first gold medals at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships on Wednesday.
The top-ranked Russian women’s team of Anastasia Voinova and Daria Shemeleva won their second world title in the team sprint.
“We worked hard to win today,” Shemeleva said, speaking through a translator.
The Australian team of Kaarle Mcculloch and Stephanie Morton took silver and Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel of Germany got bronze at the Hong Kong Veledrome.
The New Zealand men’s team of Ethan Mitchel, Sam Webster and Edward Dawkins – the Olympic silver medalists – retained their sprint title. The Netherlands finished in second and France won bronze.
After losing out on the Olympic gold last year in Rio de Janeiro, the Kiwis are already looking ahead to 2020.
“Tokyo is always in the back of our mind,” Dawkins said. “Every race is a mini Tokyo. Every race is as if we were there putting ourselves under the same amount of pressure. So when it comes down to racing on that day we’re not overwhelmed by it.”
In the women’s 10-kilometer scratch race, top-ranked Rachele Barbieri of Italy won gold. Elinor Barker of Britain was second, followed by Jolien D’hoore of Belgium in third.