Emma Finucane claimed her first-ever rainbow jersey as she became world champion in the Women’s Elite Sprint at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
The 20-year-old delivered a stunning blow to Germany’s Emma Hinze – who won world bronze last year – to reach the final, before overcoming Lea Friedrich in a dominant final display.
Finucane is only the third Brit to win the women’s sprint after Becky James and Victoria Pendleton.
“I had the legs but over three days you really have to focus,” Finucane told BBC Sport.
“Another side of me came out today and it definitely paid off. I gave everything I could on the track in that final and I am super proud.
“I definitely wasn’t cool and calm. I was so nervous deep down. I had to go to the toilets a couple of times to reset. I wanted to go up there and be aggressive but I knew what I wanted to do. We will celebrate tonight for sure.”
In the final against Friedrich, Finucane won the first two races in a best-of-three to clinch her first major title.
The result capped off a fantastic day for Finucane, who also helped to secure a silver medal for Great Britain in the women’s team sprint.
Finucane becomes the first British winner of the elite sprint in 10 years, with James last completing the feat in 2013.
New Zealand’s Ellesse Andrews took the final podium spot as Hinze missed out.
Katie Archibald just missed out on a podium position in the women’s omnium as American Jennifer Valente dominated to defend her title.
She left the rest of the field to battle it out for the remaining podium places, where Dane Amalie Dideriksen won silver and Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky pipped Archibald for bronze.
Valente defends omnium title as Archibald misses out on medal
Elsewhere, Colombia’s Kevin Quintero won gold in the men’s kerin with Great Britain’s Jack Carlin having to make do with fifth spot.
There was a moment where it looked as though Carlin could clinch a podium spot when he hit the front, but Quintero found another gear to blow away the pack and earn the victory.
Harrie Lavreysen was denied a fourth straight gold when he finished fourth, while Matthew Richardson and Shinji Nakano won silver and bronze respectively.
Sir Chris Hoy says the World Championships feels like a “mini Olympic Games” amid an exciting start to this year’s competition.
“Everyone that has got a ticket feels privileged to be sitting here witnessing history,” Hoy told Eurosport.
‘A huge scalp!’ – Finucane beats Hinze to reach sprint final
“The shape of the track and velodrome, it kind of reflects the sound back in. Everyone is paying attention and cheers at the same time.
“Even though there is only going to be 3,000 or 4,000 people here [on Tuesday] the noise is off the scale.”
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