Silver lining for Melton cyclist at Commonwealth Games

Melton cyclist Georgia Holt and her para cycling partner Sophie Unwin bounced back from Friday’s bronze medal heartbreak to win a silver medal in their second event this afternoon (Sunday) at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

By Nick Rennie
Sunday, 31st July 2022, 4:14 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st July 2022, 4:31 pm
Sophie Unwin and Georgia Holt of Team England, who won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games today  (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Sophie Unwin and Georgia Holt of Team England, who won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games today (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The England duo were left in tears after organisers said they were not entitled to a bronze medal in the tandem B sprint despite thrillingly winning the third-place ride-off.

But they had a packed velodrome crowd in raptures this afternoon as they stormed to a brilliant silver medal in the 1,000m time trial.

Georgia rode as pilot for Sophie again and the pair hugged after crossing the finish line, with Australia’s Jessica Gallagher (pilot Caitlin) taking gold by a narrow margin.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29: A tearful Sophie Unwin and Georgia Holt of Team England pose with borrowed bronze medals after finishing third in the Women's Tandem B - Finals on day one of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Lee Valley Velopark Velodrome on July 29, 2022 on the London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The silver medal was particularly sweet for Georgia and Sophie after they were told they would not get a bronze medal on Friday because only five teams had entered. This was despite their ride-off, against Scotland's Libby Clegg and her pilot Jenny Holl, being billed as a bronze medal decider at the velodrome.

Georgia and Sophie protested at the medal ceremony by holding up an England flag behind the podium as the gold and silver medallists were given their medals.

The tearful duo later stood on the podium with bronze medals which were borrowed from fellow members of the England cycling team.

The incident even prompted Melton MP Alicia Kearns to get involved.

Referring to our report on what happened, Mrs Kearns posted on her Facebook page: “Really disappointed to see this decision by the Commonwealth Games.

"I tried to intervene to see what could be done, but this seems to be their new policy, and the Government cannot force them to change it.

“We are all so proud of Georgia Holt and her para cycling partner Sophie Unwin - they came third no matter what podium took place and I know we're all so proud of them.”

A Commonwealth Games spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, while the athletes were informed of this before the race, the scoreboard and results sheet incorrectly indicated that it was a bronze medal race.

"We apologise to the athletes involved for the inadvertent distress this has caused.”