Lea Sophie Friedrich pulled the handlebars forward at Tempo 65, then lowered her head in disappointment. In a rousing finale, only centimeters were missing from a great triumph. The eight-time track cycling world champion missed her first title in the supreme discipline sprint by a hair’s breadth at the World Championships in Glasgow.

The 23-year-old Friedrich lost both runs in the final against local hero Emma Finucane and had to settle for silver. Team colleague Emma Hinze even went away empty-handed after the defeat in the small final.

Friedrich “really flat”

“It was a tough tournament, a tough world championship. I’m really flat, from the head and the legs. I’m very happy about the silver medal, even if it didn’t look like it at first. I gave everything, I can’t blame myself.” , said Friedrich and added: “I come out of the competition stronger.”

Even if it wasn’t enough for a golden finish, the German sprinters were among the big stars in the Chris Hoy Velodrome. Friedrich even collected a total of four medals. “I can be proud of that,” said Friedrich, who had already won gold in the team sprint with Hinze and Pauline Grabosch and two bronze medals in the 500-meter time trial and Keirin the day before. Hinze also won the world title in the 500-meter time trial.

German men can only dream of such successes. On the last day of competition on the wooden oval, hopes for a medal were also dashed in the keirin. Just like Marc Jurczyk, Maximilian Dörnbach was eliminated in the quarter-finals and must therefore continue to wait for his first World Championship podium. The day before, two-time world champions Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt missed out on one of their greatest hopes for a medal when they finished seventh in the Madison.

With a view to the Olympic Games in Paris, German hopes rest solely on the German sprinters. “But your big challenge will be to win the Olympics. After Berlin, everyone thought that they would also strike in Tokyo,” said former British superstar Chris Hoy, who finds the German aces “impressive”. National coach Jan van Eijden can only agree: “We’ve won three medals in the three Olympic disciplines. But you have to say: The top is getting narrower. It’s the same as with the men.”

Frederick is convinced

Especially Friedrich knew how to convince in Glasgow in the Olympic disciplines. In the keirin she “only” got bronze because she made a tactical mistake. Otherwise, she had won all the races with ease. And she also sprinted through the tournament. It was only in the final that she had to admit defeat to Finucane by a very narrow margin. Perhaps the home advantage made the crucial difference.

For Hinze, on the other hand, there was no further medal after her double success. Both in the small final against the New Zealand keirin world champion Ellesse Andrews and before that against Finucane, she had no chance in all runs.

Kluge narrowly missed the medal

Roger Kluge narrowly missed out on the first German men’s medal at the end of the track competitions at the World Cycling Championships. After a strong performance in the points race over 40 kilometers, the 37-year-old took fourth place. With 89 points, the Berliner was only six points short of bronze, which Belgian Fabio van den Bossche occupied. New Zealand’s Aaron Gate (123) won the title ahead of Spaniard Albert Torres Barcelo (107). So there were only medals on the track for the German women, especially by the strong sprinters.