Lotte Kopecky wins two European track titles in 19 minutes

Belgian stars on day four, as Great Britain also add two golds to their tally

Lotte Kopecky in a rainbow jersey at the european track championships
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It took Lotte Kopecky just 19 minutes to double up on gold medals at the European Track Championships on Saturday evening. 

The Belgian won the points race in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, before immediately taking the start line in the elimination race, and winning that too. 

“When I saw the programme, I was not happy with the points race and the elimination race right after each other,” she said afterwards. 

“Fortunately, I managed to convince the coach to do both disciplines. With these two European titles within half an hour, it turned out to be a very special day.”

Kopecky crossed the line to win the points race at 19:55 local time. She then warmed down briefly on her rollers, before starting the elimination race at 20:02. 

World champion in both events, the 28-year-old conserved energy in the elimination race, and stretched out a large gap against Germany’s Lea Lin Teutenberg in the final lap. Her victory was confirmed at 20:14.

The gold medals marked Kopecky’s career fifth and sixth at the European Championships. The SD Worx rider is also the road world champion, and will target both the track events and the road race at the Paris Olympics this summer. 

Hayter and Marchant strike gold

Ethan hayter in the omnium at the european track championships 2024

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It was a golden night for Great Britain in Apeldoorn, too, with success for Ethan Hayter in the Omnium and Katy Marchant in the 500m time trial. 

Hayter, who had not raced track since 2022 prior to the competition, went into the final Omnium event, the points race, in fourth place. He then scored regularly, leapfrogging his way up the leaderboard, and sealing the title in the final moments. 

"I didn't plan for it to be that close," the 25-year-old said. "Today I wasn't the best me that I've been either, so it was nice to still somehow pull it off in the end. Hopefully I can keep getting better."

Earlier in the evening, Marchant won the two-lap time trial by under four hundredths of a second. 

The 30-year-old Olympic bronze medallist finished top in qualifying, and then clocked a time of 33.319 seconds in the final to beat France’s Marie-Divine Kouamé, the former world champion, and take GB’s first title in the event. 

“That’s so special. I’m so so happy,” Marchant said afterwards. “Watching Emma [Finucane] win yesterday was inspiring. The younger girls are inspiring me. This is my first senior European title and I think that just goes to show the level that we’re at every day. 

“You need to be winning European titles to get a space in the team [for the Olympics], and hopefully I’m showing I’m capable.” 

GB’s Jess Roberts took bronze in the elimination race, while Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) added an 11th European title to his collection, winning the match sprint. 

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