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Sarah Hammer defends her omnium title in Cali, Colombia
American wins Omnium in Cali track world championships
American Sarah Hammer cemented herself in the record books as one of her country's most decorated track cyclists, claiming her seventh career gold medal with a victory in the women's omnium at the UCI Track World Championships in Cali, Colombia, beating out Olympic champion Laura Trott (Great Britain) and Australia's Annette Edmondson.
Hammer won the points and elimination races, as well as her specialty, the individual pursuit, en route to the Omnium gold medal. She also took home a silver medal in the stand-alone individual pursuit
It was Hammer's second consecutive gold medal performance in the Omnium, adding another title to the five she's held in the individual pursuit. The victory was revenge for her loss to Great Britain's Joanna Rowsell in the individual pursuit.
"I wanted to win," Hammer said of the silver medal ride. "I was super upset and had a rough night afterwards. I kept telling myself 'let it go' but I'm really competitive and it was great motivation for me, especially coming into today. I wanted to make sure I was standing on the top of the podium today."
"It's amazing to be able to replicate last year," Hammer said of her Omnium victory. "Anytime you're a world champion you have a huge target on your back. Everybody's lifted their game, especially Laura Trott. She kept pressure on me the whole time. I had to bring my 'A game' in everything. I knew I was physically prepared, but the omnium is a battle of the mind and the body, so you have to have great execution on every single event, and I feel like I had success at that the last two days."
Hammer said the highlight of her weekend was her performance in the 500m time trial - the event which cost her the gold medal at the London Olympic Games in 2012, when she fell one place short of the gold medal to Trott. In Cali, Hammer posted a 35.571, a personal best time.
"The second day always starts out good for me because I start with the individual pursuit," added Hammer. "What I'm most proud of this whole championships is my 500. That was a huge personal best for me. It just shows all the hard work I've been putting in is paying off."