Katy Marchant complains about lack of world class female sprinters in British Cycling and admits they miss Becky James and Jess Varnish
- Great Britain failed to qualify a women’s sprint for the Olympic Games
- The British team could struggle to match the 11 medals they won in Rio in 2016
- Two of those gongs four years ago were won by retired Becky James
Katy Marchant has deplored the lack of world-class British sprinters – admitting they lack the “experience” of Becky James and Jess Varnish.
Britain has not qualified the women’s team’s sprint for this summer’s Olympic Games and still has to secure places in the women’s individual sprint and keirin. That is why the British team in Tokyo could struggle to match the 11 medals they won on the track in Rio.
Two of those gongs four years ago were won by James, who claimed silver in both the sprint and keirin, but she stopped in 2017 at the age of 25. Meanwhile, Varnish was fired controversially before Rio 2016 when she was also 25.
Katy Marchant has deplored the lack of world-class British sprinters
Britain now has only one world-class female sprinter in Marchant, 27, who won bronze behind James in the sprint in Rio and this week in the sprint and keirin will race at the World Championships in Berlin while trying to seal the Toko qualification.
She will be accompanied in the sprint in Germany by one of the young Lauren Bate, 20 or Sophie Capewell, 21, but they are not seen as medal candidates at this stage.
Asked if British Cycling missed James and Varnish, Marchant admitted: ‘I think so because of their experience. Many of the riders are now a lot younger.
Marchant admits that British Cycling is currently missing the “experience” of Becky James
“We were thin on the ground after the Rio Olympics. When Becky left, I was the only driver. Then we had two or three academics and that is not enough to produce an Olympic gold-winning team.
‘It is disappointing that we were not eligible for the team sprint. But you can’t make a team of two with just two riders, you need people to support you.
“We are well on our way to 2024. We now have a group of five, six girls who are all capable of great things in the future, but they are just not quite able to leave at the moment.”