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UCI "B" World Championships - CM
Aigle, Switzerland, July 5-9, 2003
Day 3 - July 7: Track - Men's 4000m Individual Pursuit, Men's 1000m TT final
Men's 4000m Individual Pursuit
Haghi takes control
Reports by Gerry McManus in Aigle, Switzerland
Iran won its first gold medal in the B world championships on the track in Aigle on Monday. Alireza Haghi defeated Vadim Kkravchenko in the final after the Kazakstan rider was leading after three laps on the short 200m track. Kkravchenko looked the smoothest of the two but a determined Haghi put the bit between his teeth to claw back the deficit to record 4:35.582 and even had his opponent in his sights with two laps to go.
Haghi's team mate Hossein Askari beat Luca Barazzutti (Ecuador) in a thrilling ride off for bronze with less than a second separating the two riders when the gap had been nearly three seconds with 1km to go.
Men's 1km time trial
Lin powers to victory
Taipei's Chih Hsun Lin emerged as the new B world champion and clinched one of the two Olympic places up for grabs for each track discipline at these championships. He recorded a time of 1:05:746 to beat the early leader Radoslav Konstantinov of Bulgaria by just over two tenths of a second.
It was daunting for the other nine competitors when Konstantinov set his fast time as first man off. A delighted Jeong Wokk Choi punched the air as he went second on the leader board with 1:06:255 but the Korean had to be content with third when Lin exploded around the track.
It will be interesting to see how the first two riders will perform on a larger 250m track in Athens next year if indeed they gain selection. Lin is a university student studying physical education. The twenty-three old has only been training for the event since he started his summer vacation from studies two weeks ago but he has already show his talent by winning a gold medal in the Asia games in 2002.
Japan v Bulgaria in women's sprint final
Evengenia Radanova from Bulgaria defeated Sayuri Osuga (Japan) in two straight races to set up a competitive final with another Japanese rider. Maya Tachikawa beat Min Hye Lee from Korea to secure an Olympic place for Japan in the process as well as a chance at the gold medal.
Both finalists recorded similar times in their semi-finals and the gold medal final will likely go to three rides.
Images by Gerry McManus
Men's 4000m pursuit 1 Alireza Haghi (Iran) 4.33.919 2 Vadim Kravchenko (Kazakhstan) 4.39.311 4 Hossein Askari (Iran) 4.36.305 3 Luca Barazzutti (Equador) 4.36.260 Men's 1km time trial 1 Chih Hsun Lin (Taiwan) 1.05.746 (54.756km/h) 2 Radoslav Konstantinov (Bulgaria) 1.05.963 (54.576km/h) 3 Jeong Wook Choi (Korea) 1.06.255 (54.335km/h) 4 Hssanali Varposhti (Iran) 1.06.940 (53.779km/h) 5 Azikiwe Kellar (Trinidad) 1.07.217 (53.557km/h) 6 Vahur Valvas (Estonia) 1.07.971 (52.963km/h) 7 Raymond Clarke (Ireland) 1.08.135 (52.836km/h) 8 Carlos Feizer Del Valle (Guatemala) 1.08.167 (52.811km/h) 9 Mario Sasso (Uruguay) 1.08.496 (52.557km/h) 10 Ming Chau Dor (Hong-Kong) 1.09.109 (52.091km/h