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New Zealand’s Lauren Ellis took the silver with Tatsiana Sharakova of Belarus winning the bronze.
Whitten claimed her first world title on Saturday in the five-event omnium, which will make its Olympic debut at the London Games in 2012.
Having garnered 36 points after the ninth and penultimate intermediate sprint, in which the first four finishers are awarded five, three, two and one points, Whitten’s only rival for gold was Sharakova.
The Belarussian made no attempt to close her three-point deficit to Whitten, and that was enough for Ellis to go on the attack in the final three laps.
Sitting on 28 points, the young Kiwi crossed the finish line first, and with room to spare, to move up to 33 and ahead of Sharakova.