Laura Kenny continues after crash to finish 12th in World Championships omnium

Laura Kenny had yet another bruising omnium experience as she hit the deck hard at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin but refused to give up.

In the same event in which she broke her shoulder at the final round of the World Cup in Canada last month, Kenny crashed just before the final lap of the opening scratch race, leaving her with a black eye and four stitches.

But with her shoulder spared the worst of the impact she was back on her bike for the tempo race.

Kenny could not force her way back into the medal reckoning as Yumi Kajihara became the first woman to win a track world title for Japan, but a strong third place in the final points race moved Kenny up to 12th overall.

“I should probably stop headbutting the floor, shouldn’t I?” said Kenny, omnium champion at the past two Olympics. “It’s just been one of those months. One to forget.

“But Sir Chris (Hoy) just spoke to me and said: ‘You know what, in six months time this will all be forgotten.’ And he’s right. It just wasn’t my day today. But I’m glad I got back up and raced. I came here to race. Rightly or wrongly.”

Kenny was caught up in a big spill just before the bell to start the final lap of the scratch race as five riders hit the deck.

She received lengthy treatment at the side of the track before going through a concussion check, but was sure she wanted to continue.

“Instantly I knew it wasn’t bad,” she added. “In Canada, straight away it took my breath away because it hurt so much. I know I lay there for a while but I didn’t want to get up and make it worse.

“I just wanted the OK from Nige (doctor Nigel Jones). He slowly got me up and straight away I thought ‘It’s fine. I haven’t made it worse.’

“I’ve strained the muscle at the front here which means I can’t lift my arm above my head again. But it’s only muscles. They’ll fix after about a week. It isn’t bone. I haven’t made it any worse.”

Laura Kenny suffered a nasty fall at the World Championships in Berlin
Laura Kenny suffered a nasty fall at the World Championships in Berlin (Tim Goode/PA)

Kenny fell hardest on her right hip, sparing the injured shoulder the full force of the blow.

The 27-year-old has already had a successful few days in Berlin. Determined to race here to show the Canada crash has not derailed her Olympic preparations, she picked up team pursuit silver on Thursday despite insisting last week she would not race in the event, then finished fourth in Wednesday’s scratch race.

She could therefore have been forgiven for pulling out of the rest of the omnium, but having been given the all-clear she wanted to use the race as a learning opportunity against her Olympic rivals.

Kirsten Wild, the reigning omnium world champion and a major threat to Kenny’s Olympic crown, was relegated for causing the crash despite being a couple of bike lengths in front, with commissaires blaming the Dutchwoman for a domino effect – a decision Kenny called “harsh”.

There was disappointment for Mark Stewart in the points race as the reigning Commonwealth champion could only manage 12th place.

Stewart won the second sprint of the race but then struggled to impose himself, and the 24-year-old admitted his disappointment with the battle for Olympic places on.

“It probably will (make a difference), yes,” said Stewart. “I’ve had a real good winter.

“It’s a bit of a surprise that result, considering my sensations coming into it.

Hard fight for Mark Stewart 🇬🇧 in the men's points race

🤜🤛

🌈 @UCI_Track 🇩🇪 #Berlin2020pic.twitter.com/qTMcPGwOB8

— British Cycling (@BritishCycling) February 28, 2020

“I’ll learn from it and come back stronger but all the other guys are strong so we’ll see what the other guys do.”

In the men’s individual pursuit, Italy’s Filippo Ganna, who rides on the road for Team Ineos, broke his own world record in qualifying.

In a demonstration of the rapid development of pursuiting, Ganna’s solo time of 4:01.934 was faster than the 4:01.979 set by the Great Britain team pursuit squad – including Sir Bradley Wiggins – in winning bronze at the Sydney Olympics back in 2000.

Ganna went on to beat American Ashton Lambie to take gold in the final.

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