Sarah Lee clinches first medal in three years at UCI Track Cycling World Championships
Hong Kong’s golden girl wins silver in 500m time trial at Lee Valley VeloPark in London after Russian sweeps to gold by breaking 33-second mark
Hong Kong golden girl Sarah Lee Wai-sze clinched her first Track Cycling World Championships medal in three years, finishing second in the women’s 500 metre time trial on Friday.
Lining up second on the start list, Lee finished the two-lap race in 33.736 seconds at Lee Valley VeloPark in East London, Britain, the same venue she won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.
She had to wait patiently as each of the 16 world-class sprinters on the roster completed their two laps.
Lee, whose time had fallen short of her Asian record 33.296, had remained in the lead until the last rider – world record holder Anastasiia Voinova of Russia – took to the boards.
Voinova was the only rider to break the 33-second barrier in the race, adding the time trial gold to the women’s team sprint gold she claimed on Wednesday.
The Russian clocked an excellent time of 32.959 seconds to clinch the gold medal, while third place went to Elis Ligtlee of the Netherlands in 33.760.
It was not the first time Lee had clashed with Voinova. The Russian was disqualified from the first round of the keirin on Thursday when she skidded into the Hong Kong rider on the finish line after being jolted by Ukraine’s Liubov Basova as she came up the inside.
Lee landed painfully on her right hip and suffered minor head injuries and knocks on her leg muscles due to the accident.
Although Lee was able to continue the race, she managed to place fourth in the second round and could not reach the final, which Germany’s Kristina Vogel eventually won.
Lee failed to win any medals at the last two world events and the last time she stood on the podium was at the 2013 World Championships in Belarus where she won a gold in the 500-metre time trial and a bronze in the sprint.
The 28-year-old still has a medal chance coming up in the sprint race on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Leung Chun-wing is currently 11th after the first three events in the men's omnium.
Coach Shen Jinkang praised the rider's performance in the 4km pursuit as Leung clocked 4 mins 26.584 sec, one of his best results.
Cheung King-lok came ninth in the men's 40km points race.