Rio 2016: Becky James never ‘imagined’ winning medal at Olympics after a rough couple of years

Becky James produced a marvellous last quarter of her Keirin race as she claimed a much deserved silver medal last night.

Rio 2016: Becky James never ‘imagined’ winning medal at Olympics after a rough couple of years
James won silver in the women's keirin last night / The Sun

Becky James joined in with the GB party last night as she bagged a silver medal in the women’s keirin to make up for what has been a terrible past two years for the 24-year-old.

It’s been tough for James as she had a serious knee injury which had the look of career threatening written all over it, but she survived that. But then after that, a cancer scare was the last thing James needed; but she has battled back and defied all the odds last night as a late surge was enough to secure the silver medal ahead of Australian Anna Meares, as Eris Ligtlee of the Netherlands took the Gold.

Laura Trott and company smashed the women’s team pursuit World record as they beat the American’s to claim another Gold for GB in the cycling – but James didn’t let the pressure get to her as she produced an assured and accomplished performance to win what was the biggest race of her career so far.

James says she is ‘absolutely thrilled’ with Keirin silver medal

James certainly has pedigree in the keirin; before all her injury and illness woes, she won the keirin World title; but last night’s achievement surely eclipses that.

Speaking after her race, the 24-year-old said: "It was a pretty frustrating race. I left it as late as I could.

It looked as though James was going to be out of the medals as she was languishing at the back of the pack until the last quarter of the race; but a powerful and spectacular surge saw her just pip Meares into second, as Ligtlee produced a commanding ride to win.

James congratulating the winner Ligtlee, last night / Sky Sports
James congratulating the winner Ligtlee, last night / Sky Sports

"I didn't think I was going to get anywhere near round. I could have done with an extra couple of metres, but I'm absolutely thrilled with that medal,” said a made-up James.

With all the hardship James has faced over the past two to three years, her silver just shows how rewarding sport can be, and for James she said she would ‘never have imagined’ getting a medal at Rio 2016.