Cheung King-lok bags bronze at track world championships, but Sarah Lee surrenders her crown

Hong Kong star can only manage 6th in 500m time trial, but promising youngster boosts morale in men's scratch race

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 10:23am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 10:29pm

Promising Hong Kong youngster Cheung King-lok came close to a World Championships gold medal in the men's scratch race but in the end had to settle for bronze this morning.

But Hong Kong's Sarah Lee Wai-sze was a disappointing sixth in the women's 500 metre time trial at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia, as she failed to defend the title she won last year.

Cheung, who won a silver medal in the same event at the World Cup leg in Guadalajara, Mexico last month, took an opportunity to lap the peloton midway through the 15-kilometre race, along with Ivan Kovalev of Russia and Martyn Irvine of Ireland.

Although he then suffered mechanical problems and had to change his bike, he was still able to hang in and at one point led his two rivals in the last five laps. But Kovalev and Irvine, the defending champion, reeled the 23-year-old in.

It was the third world championships medal won by Hong Kong rider in the men's scratch. Wong Kam-po and Kwok Ho-ting won gold medal in the event in 2007 and 2011 respectively.

Cheung won four gold medals at the 2009 Asian Junior Championships and has since been considered a future star.

His medal was a morale boost for Hong Kong after Lee's disappointing display, managing just sixth place as she tried to retain the World Champion's rainbow jersey she won last year.

Lee beat Miriam Welte into second place last year, but the German got revenge this time when she took the title in 33.451 seconds, more than half a second faster than Lee's winning time last year.

World record-holder Anna Meares of Australia was second (33.458) and bronze went to Anastasiia Voinova of Russia (33.789).

Lee's time of 33.983 was a hundredth of a second slower than her winning time in 2013.