BROMSGROVE’S track cycling superstar Jessica Varnish put the town on the sporting map by storming to a brace of medals at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The Finstall flyer, 23, won England’s first cycling medal of the tournament last Thursday when she raced to bronze in the women’s 500 metre time trial in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
The gifted rider then scooped her second silverware of the Games on Sunday, earning bronze in the individual sprint.
The bronze double means the town has more medals so far than a host of nations, including Ghana, Uganda and Sri Lanka.
Success in Scotland helped to soothe the pain she endured at the London 2012 Olympics when her and sprint partner Victoria Pendleton were disqualified.
Proud father James Varnish said: “Jess is over the moon to have won her medals in Glasgow.
“Unlike some sports in the Commonwealth Games, England’s track cyclists have been up against one of the strongest nations in the world in Australia.
“It was always going to be incredibly tough to come away with a medal.
“For Jess, London has been forgotten. She’s been through a lot since then and had to get over injury last year.
“I must say it’s been a brilliant tournament and the people of Glasgow have been incredibly friendly.”
In the 500m time trial, Miss Varnish finished in third place behind Australian pair Stephanie Morton and Anna Meares, the latter breaking her own Commonwealth Games record with a run of 33.435 seconds.
For Miss Varnish, who came in at 34.267s, it was a moment to savour following her misfortune at London 2012.
But her biggest test was the women’s sprint and after beating England team-mate Vicky Williamson in the quarter-finals on Saturday, the Bromsgrove speedster was pipped by Meares in the last four.
But Miss Varnish, who is a life member of Halesowen Cycling Club and V-Sprint Racing Club, bounced back impressively when she defeated Malaysia’s Fatehah Mustapa in both races of the bronze medal event.
Now the young rider will be looking to start building for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, starting with the World Cup rounds and National Track Championships later this year. “Everything will be building towards Rio now and Jess is full of confidence after Glasgow,” added Mr Varnish.
Meanwhile, Cofton Hackett teenager Lauren Rowles finished fifth in her heat for the T54 1,500m at Hampden Park and qualfied for this evening's final, which is 7.20pm.
The 16-year-old, who is the youngest member of England Athletics squad, will now focus on the IWAS World Junior Games for Great Britain which will start on Sunday.