Iuri Leitão, 22, is the national champion of this specialty and won the European title, an unprecedented feat for Portugal in European championships, by giving the peloton a step forward, which contributed to the gold.
The Portuguese beat Ukrainian Roman Gladysh, runner-up, and Briton Oliver Wood, third, in the competition held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Less than an hour after Iuri Leitão’s scratch gold, Maria Martins, already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Games, postponed to 2021, got new ‘metal’, improving her seventh place in the 2019 European championships.
The Portuguese, who twice got rid of the elimination by less than half a wheel difference, only did worse than the Italian Rachele Barbieri, second, and the British Elinor Barker, the new champion of Europe.
In the elimination event, the slowest cyclists every two laps are eliminated, as they are the last to cross the finish line on each pass.
It is the third medal for Portugal in these Europeans, after Iuri Leitão’s silver in the elimination and the same athlete’s gold in scratch, with the two cyclists facing the omnium on Friday and Rui Oliveira and Ivo Oliveira also summoned.