Track sprint star Becky James announces retirement

Welsh double Olympic silver medallist ends track sprint racing career

Former track world champion and double Olympic silver medallist Becky James has announced her decision to retire from international track sprint racing.

James, 25, released a statement a year on from her silver medals in the keirin and sprint at Rio 2016 to confirm she is ended her racing career.

The Welsh superstar suffered an injury-plagued run-up to Rio, as well as a cancer scare in 2014, but bounced back to finish second behind Kristina Vogel in the sprint and second behind Elis Ligtlee in the keirin.

Becky James won two silver medals at Rio 2016 (pic: Alex Whitehead/

In the statement, posted online, James says she intends now setting up a baking business, with no regrets at ending her racing career.

“I have given cycling 100% and know how much commitment it takes to make it to the highest level in elite sport,” she wrote.

“The pressure of competing at the top can be mentally and physically draining, but the rewards have been incredible and I have absolutely no regrets.

“I have achieved my dreams of becoming a world champion, a Commonwealth Games medallist for Wales and becoming a double Olympic silver medallist.”

Abergavenny-born James first showed glimpses of her talent when she won sprint silver and time trial bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

It was her performance at the 2013 World Championships in Minsk which propelled her into the limelight, a year after Victoria Pendleton’s retirement, however.

James won gold in the sprint and keirin and also picked up two bronze medals in the team sprint and 500m time trial.

She was plagued by injuries thereafter, however, missing the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with a knee injury.

After also revealing her cancer scare, which saw her require an operation following a cervical screening, James returned to international action by claiming keirin bronze at the World Championships in London in 2016.

James suffered an injury-plagued two seasons before claiming her two Olympic medals, having been a double world champion in 2013 (pic: Alex Whitehead/

That earned her selection to the Olympic Games, where James claimed her two silver medals, before announcing her decision to retire from racing.

“For a long time I’ve had a passion for baking and have loved making special wedding and birthday cakes for friends and family,” she continued in her statement.

“It’s my intention to now pursue this passion as a business, along with some exciting other projects going forward.”


Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.