By Courtesy USA Cycling
American Andy Lakatosh jump-started Team USA’s performance at the 2002 World Junior Track Championships by winning a silver medal in the keirin on Wednesday. The keirin was the first event of the championships in Melbourne, Australia. Australia’s Mark Jamieson won the gold to the delight of the hometown crowd. Lakatosh, who originally won the bronze medal, secured the silver after Colombia’s Hernan Sanchez was disqualified for dangerous riding in the final heat.
“I’m so excited about this,” said a jubilant Lakatosh, whose parents and sister traveled to Australia to cheer him on. “Today’s result gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the championships.”
“Andy was amazing,” said coach Des Dickie. “I never like to predict medals, but if Andy rides to the best of his potential, like he did today, he could come home with more medals.”
“Andy was a little nervous in the first round of competition,” said Dickie. “He didn’t qualify in the first round, but he won the repechage heat. I’m so pleased with his performance. His family is here with him, and we’ve had a great time celebrating his medal-winning performance.”
In the final of the women’s keirin, Italy’s Elisa Frisconi won gold with a time of 12.399. China’s Fu Shimei took the silver, and Tomoko Endo of Japan the bronze. USA riders Rachel Herring finished seventh, with Anna Webb ninth. “The girls were very nervous, as this is the first time they’ve raced in an elite group,” said Dickie. “But after a few races, they felt better. Rachel won the 7-12 round very convincingly – by three bicycle lengths. They’ll get more and more confident with each event. I feel they ran really well today.”
Competition at the 2002 World Junior Championships continues on Thursday with the women’s 500m time trial finals, the men’s kilometer time trial finals and the men’s scratch 10km finals.