Emma Hinze was already behind, it seemed as if the victory was not hers. And then she mobilized all her strength again in the third and decisive run of the sprint final at the European Track Cycling Championships and pushed up to the French Mathilde Gros. But also over? The target photo had to provide clarification, the trembling began.
A little later it was clear: The 24-year-old from Cottbus is the new European champion in the sprint. After successes in the team sprint with Pauline Grabosch and Lea Sophie Friedrich and in the 500-meter time trial with the German record of 32.668 seconds, it was her third gold at the European Championships on the oval in the Munich Exhibition Center.
She was completely flat. “This morning I felt bad, I’ve thrown up several times since yesterday. I actually didn’t have any energy left, I gave it my all in the semifinals yesterday,” said the five-time world champion later on the ZDF microphone. “And then a third run in the final. I thought: that’s it. Then I broke up and cried in between. My whole team built me up. I can’t believe I’ve won now.”
Meanwhile, teammate Friedrich lost two runs in the small final to Laurine van Riessen from the Netherlands and thus missed her second medal. It went better for Maximilian Dörnbach, who took third place in the 1000 meter time trial. Only Melvin Landerneau from France and Italian Matteo Bianchi were faster. The German Cyclists’ Association (BDR) has already won six gold, three silver and one bronze before the final day of the track cycling competition.
Hinze coped better than many of her competitors with the 200-meter-long, and thus 50-meter-shorter, temporary track, although she had concerns about the sprint. “In the time trial yes, but in the sprint and keirin it’s difficult. Full throttle from the start, whoever is in front usually wins. That doesn’t have so much to do with tactics, it’s more of a rammel run,” said the Cottbus native. Otherwise they wouldn’t drive like that. All the more surprising that she was behind in the third run – and still won. And on a track that had just been repaired with tape.
What sounds strange has an ugly reason: there had been another serious fall. The train broke down in one place and had to be repaired quickly.
In the points race of the women’s four-way competition Omnium, five drivers collided with each other. While Johanna Kitti Borissza (Hungary), Emily Kay (Ireland) and Maike van der Duin (Netherlands) were able to get off the track on their own shortly afterwards, the Greeks Argiro Milaki and Hanna Sowej from the Ukraine received medical treatment inside for a long time behind a screen.
Both athletes were put on a drip before they were taken out of the hall and to the hospital on stretchers. Nothing was initially known about the nature and severity of the injuries.
The race was interrupted for first aid and repairs to the damaged wooden track.