LONDON (AFP) — Laura Trott was happy to make good on a promise to her sister after British cycling’s newest star wrapped up an Olympic double on Tuesday by adding omnium gold to the team pursuit title she’d already won in London.
“I promised her a car if I won both (medals), so there goes the prize money,” joked the 20-year-old after her latest victory at the velodrome on Tuesday.
“It’s mad. I can’t believe it,” added Trott, who finished just one point in front of the United States’ Sarah Hammer.
The six-discipline omnium made its debut as track cycling’s answer to athletics multi-events such as the decathlon and heptathlon.
Trott, the world champion, topped the standings at the end of three events on Monday’s first day, but trailed Hammer by two points heading into the concluding 500m time trial.
“I was disappointed to finish second in the IP (the individual pursuit) and then I ballsed the scratch race up as well didn’t I?” said Trott. “I thought ‘it’s all down to the 500m now’.
Trott needed to finish three places better than Hammer to take back the lead she’d held when Tuesday’s first session opened. It was a tall order on a day that the American appeared cool under pressure.
“I know I’m good at 500s, but you don’t put three places on Sarah Hammer very easily. She’s the strongest rider out there,” said Trott. “I thought, ‘how am I going to do this?’ I thought I was going to be sick on the start line, which didn’t help matters. But I just got going and the crowd just drove me home. I was so happy.”
In her first Games, victory put Trott in the same company as middle-distance runner Kelly Holmes and swimmer Rebecca Adlington in being one of the few British female athletes to have won two golds at the one Olympic Games.
“I don’t think people talk about me in the same sense as them. I just can’t believe it,” said Trott.
Hammer’s silver was her second in London after the United States finished runner-up in the team pursuit.
“I’m super pleased to have two silver medals,” said the 28-year-old. “Obviously, I was going for gold —- that’s what I wanted. The 500 is one of my harder events. I brought it to the table, it just wasn’t enough.”
Bronze went to Australia’s Annette Edmondson.
“To be honest, I came here wanting more,” said Edmondson. “I wanted gold or silver but stuffed up the points race a little bit. I couldn’t face going home with nothing, so to get bronze is brilliant.”