By Martin Ayres, VeloNews Correspondent
First-time world championship rider Tammy Thomas won through to the last four of the women’s sprint in Antwerp, Belgium on Thursday.
Beaten by Germany’s Susan Panzer in the first match of the quarterfinals, Thomas hit back to level the scores and then won the decider with an attacking ride from the front, clocking 12.257 and 12.435 seconds.
Also through to the semis is Canada’s Lori-Ann Muenzer, who took the first match against Szilvia Szabolcsi (Hungary) only to be relegated to second place for straying across the sprinters line. Unfazed by the upset, Muenzer took no chances in the two remaining rides, winning both from the front.
Defending champion Natalia Markovnichenko (Belarus), who beat Muenzer in last year’s world’s final, crashed out of the series with a broken collarbone after taking a spectacular dive over her handlebars in the quarters.
American Jennie Reed, who was eliminated by Muenzer in the eighth finals, went on to win the minor-final to decide 9th to 13th placings.
In the men’s individual pursuit, Alexandre Symonenko (Ukraine) defeated last year’s winner, Jens Lehmann (Germany), to win his first rainbow jersey. Stefan Steinweg (Germany) took the bronze medal.
The other final of the night saw France’s trio of Laurent Gane, Florian Rousseau and Arnaud Tournant win the Olympic sprint for the fifth year running. The team from France beat Australia in the finals. Great Britain overcame Spain to take the bronze.
TRACK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, Antwerp, Belgium. September 26-30; Men; Olympic sprint semifinals; Great Britain, 45.584 seconds, def. Germany; Australia, 45.151, def. Poland; Spain, 45.387, def. Japan; France, 44.808 def. Netherlands; Finals; Third place: Great Britain (Craig McLean, Jason Queally, Chris Hoy), 45.479, def. Spain, 45.699; First place: France (Laurent Gane, Florian Rousseau, Arnaud Tournant), 44.08, def. Australia (Jobie Dajka, Ryan Bradley, Sean Eadie); Pursuit finals; First place; Alexandre Symonenko (Ukr), caught Jens Lehmann (G); Third place; Stefan Steinweg (G), 4:32.448, def. Jerome Neuville (F); Team pursuit qualifying (first eight qualify for semifinals); 1. Ukraine, 4:10.322; 2. Great Britain, 4:11.328; 3. Germany, 4:11.430; 4. France, 4:13.392; 5. Russia, 4:14.307; 6. New Zealand, 4:16.421; 7. Netherlands, 4:17.002; 8. Spain, 4:18.040; 9. Czech Republic, 4:19.357; 10. Belarus, 4:22.650; 11. Italy, 4:22.970; 12. Colombia, 4:24.200; 13. Belgium, 4:24.692; 14. Kazakhstan, 4:27.502; Retired: Australia, Poland; Women; Pursuit semifinals; Yvonne McGregor (GB), 3:42.163, def. Emma Davies (GB); Elena Tchalykh (Rus), 3:41.973, def. Alison Wright (Aus); Olga Slioussareva (Rus), 3:37.427, def. Katherine Bates (Aus); Leontien van Moorsel-Ziljaard (Nl), 3:34.475, def. Sarah Symington (GB); Sprint quarterfinals; Heat 1; Iryna Yanovych (Ukr), 12.534sec, def. Katrin Meinke (G); Natalia Markovnichenko (Blr), 12.096, def. Svetlana Grankovskaia (Rus); Szilivia Szabolsci (Hun), 12.613, def. Lori-Ann Muenzer (Can); Susann Panzer (G), 12.486, def. Tammy Thomas (USA); Heat 2; Katrin Meinke (G), 12.466, def. Iryna Yanovych (Ukr); Svetlana Grankovskaia (Rus), def. Natalia Markovnichenko (Blr), (caused collision); Lori-Ann Muenzer (Can), 12.288, def. Szilivia Szabolsci (Hun); Tammy Thomas (USA), 12.257, def. Susann Panzer (G); Individual pursuit qualifying (first eight qualify for semifinal); 1. Leontien van Moorsel-Ziljaard (Nl), 3:33.749; 2. Olga Slioussareva (Rus), 3:38.648; 3. Elena Tchalykh (Rus), 3:41.627; 4. Yvonne McGregor (GB), 3:41.663; 5. Emma Davies (GB), 3:43.996; 6. Alison Wright (Aus), 3:44.856; 7. Katherine Bates (Aus), 3:45.182; 8. Sarah Symington (GB), 3:45.733; 9. Lada Kozlikova (Cze), 3:46.076; 10. Maria Luisa Calle (Col), 3:46.404; 11. Anouska van der Zee (Nl), 3:46.646; 12. Christina Becker (G), 3:47.254; 13. Erin Mirabella (USA), 3:48.557; 14. Erin Carter (Can), 3:48.581; 15. Evy Van Damme (B), 3:49.202; 16. Mandy Poitras (Can), 3:55.440; 17. Lisa Gatto (I), 4:23.282