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Para-cycling world championships day 1: silver medal for Canada

Kate O’Brien second, Mel Pemble breaks world record

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Canada opened the 2022 UCI para-cycling track world championships on Thursday in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France with a silver medal by former world champion and paralympic medallist, Kate O’Brien, in the women’s C4 500 m time trial. Meanwhile, British Columbia’s Mel Pemble opened up her World Championship debut with a world record in the women’s C3 200 m sprint.

“Coming in as world champion, I obviously wanted to defend the title,” O’Brien said in a statement to Cycling Canada. “I had my first crash since 2017 on the track last week and I also had to recover from COVID-19. Up until yesterday, it was not even certain if I would race, so I am super grateful to be here today and to have the support from everyone”

After qualifying in second position, O’Brien would race the 500 m final with a time of 37.344, only 1.683 seconds behind Kadeena Cox from Great Britain. Holding the world record in the event, O’Brien had previously won the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics Games. This will be the only individual race for O’Brien over the week.

Coming off two Canadian records earlier in the season, Pemble started off her race schedule with a World Record in the 200 m sprint as part of the omnium event in the time of 6.179 seconds. She would then race in the 500 m time trial where she was shy of a podium finish to come in fourth place.

“It was so unexpected,” Pemble said after her race, “It was my main event coming in, so to be able to perform today and have such an amazing debut makes me really proud. I still can’t believe that I am a World Record holder.”