Sarah Hammer left the London 2012 Olympic Games as Team USA’s most decorated cyclist at those Games, and she can now aim to do the same this summer after qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games.
Hammer won the bronze medal in women’s omnium at the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships Saturday afternoon in London, and the top-three finish qualified her for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. Hammer earned 182 points in the two-day, six-event competition, settling for bronze behind behind Great Britain’s Laura Trott (201 points) and France’s Laurie Berthon (183 points).
This marked the 14th world championship medal for the 32-year-old Hammer, who won her first world medal 10 years ago – a gold in individual pursuit. Since then, Hammer has racked up eight world titles, including two in omnium (2013, 2014) and the team pursuit title she contributed to on Friday.
Hammer competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, winning silver medals in omnium and team pursuit in 2012. She then moved to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in June 2013 in an effort to improve her performances at the Rio Games, and has won five world medals since the transition.
Hammer is the first cyclist to qualify for the 2016 Olympic team. Road cyclist Megan Guarnier provisionally qualified with a world bronze medal last year and must continue to demonstrate her ability to perform through the end of June. The full 2016 U.S. Olympic Track Cycling Team will be named by March 18.