Fri, September 20, 2013

Canada's Whitten finishes fourth in women's omnium

By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency


Canadian cyclist Tara Whitten of Toronto, Ont. after finishing the women's 10km Scratch Race during the London 2012 Olympic games on Tuesday, August 7, 2012. (AL CHAREST/QMI AGENCY)


LONDON - In front of members of the British royal family and NBA royalty (Kobe Bryant), Canadian cycling star Tara Whitten was unable to deliver a command performance.

Sitting fourth heading into the final event of the six-event Omnium, the time trial, the Toronto-born cyclist recorded a time trial time of 36.509 to remain fourth overall, with 37 points.

The gold was won by British cycling queen Laura Trott, 20, who moved up from second after the opening five events, to pass American Sarah Hammer for the gold on the strength of her time trial win (35.110).. Hammer won the silver followed by Australia’s Annette Edmondson with the bronze. Whitten finished 10th in the time trial. It was Trott’s second gold medal at the Games, adding to the one she won in the team pursuit on Saturday.

After her race, Queen Laura, as she is known with British fans, went over to the crowd where she was hugged by family and friends and was given a Union Jack to wrap around her shoulders. She then held the flag aloft while the crowd at the Olympic Velodrome went crazy.

“I couldn’t have done it without them,” Trott said of her family. “The amount of money they put in when I was young and they had to take me everywhere. My dad had to give up his cricket. I am so happy and I cannot thank everyone enough.”

Whitten, 32, was a member of the Canadian women’s team pursuit team, along with Gillian Carleton and Jasmin Glaesser, that won a bronze medal for Canada on Saturday.

The 32-year-old has had a international brilliant career, winning medals in the Omnium and team pursuit at various world championships, including the Omnium golds at the 2010 and 2009 world championships. A former cross country skier, she began track racing seriously in 2008 having dabbled in it since 2005. She is a Ph.D candidate in neuroscience at the University of Alberta.

Whitten was third heading into the final two races of the two-day, six-event competition on Tuesday night, tied for third with Edmondson with 21 points,.

steve.buffery@sunmedia.ca

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