Skip to main content

Golden inspiration: Joanna Rowsell stands bald and proud again

updated 4:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Joanna Rowsell is flanked by Australian duo Annette Edmonson and Amy Cure (right) after the medal presentation for the women's individual pursuit.
Joanna Rowsell is flanked by Australian duo Annette Edmonson and Amy Cure (right) after the medal presentation for the women's individual pursuit.
  • Joanna Rowsell wins Commonwealth Games gold in individual pursuit
  • England's Rowsell adds to golds at Olympics and world championships
  • 25-year-old Rowsell suffers from alopecia
  • Welsh athlete Rhys Williams ruled out after positive drugs test

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Inspirational Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her rapidly growing collection with a classy victory in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Friday.

Rowsell is already the world champion in the discipline and was part of the British trio which won the Olympic team pursuit title at London 2012.

That performance put Rowsell into the global spotlight -- not least because she suffers from alopecia -- a condition that sees sufferers lose their hair.

Read: Rowsell pedals past alopecia

I was able to bring it to the public eye. I'd like to do more in the future for people who suffered with it
Joanna Rowsell

Further success has followed in the team event, which now involves four-strong lineups, but Rowsell has backed that up with her solo efforts over three kilometer distance -- 12 laps of the indoor velodrome.

The 25-year-old qualified fastest with a Commonwealth Games record of three minutes 29.038 seconds and beat Australia's Annette Edmondson by nearly four seconds in the final in the evening session.

After her latest triumph, Rowsell said she hoped her success would help raise awareness of her condition.

Special triumph

"I didn't realize before the London Olympics that it (alopecia) affected so many people. I was able to bring it to the public eye. I'd like to do more in the future for people who suffered with it," she said.

"I won the world title back in February this year but since then I've had a bit of a up and down season with illness and injury so I just so glad it has all come together, because you only get this opportunity once every four years.

"It's very special," she added.

Read: Wiggins upstaged at Games

Olympic cyclist inspires alopecia sufferers

Edmondson's brother Alex also had to settle for silver in the final of the men's 4,000 individual pursuit, beaten by fellow Australian and world record holder Jack Bobridge.

England's Jason Kenny, the reigning Olympic champion, lost out in the final of the men's sprint to 23-year-old New Zealander Sam Webster, beaten by half a wheel in the deciding race of three.

Doping shock

The Games was hit by its first major doping story Friday, with news that Welsh 400m hurdler Rhys Williams had failed a test at the international meeting in Glasgow earlier this month.

Williams, a former European champion in the 400m hurdles, denied knowingly taking a banned substance.

"I am utterly devastated about the news of this anti-doping rule violation, which has come as a great shock to me," he said in a statement.

Read: Gay kiss at opening ceremony

Williams, 30, was the co-captain of the Wales track and field team at the Games, but was immediately withdrawn.

His teammate, 800m runner Gareth Warburton, pulled out last week after a failed test.

"Welsh Athletics is obviously concerned that this is the second anti-doping violation by a senior Welsh international athlete and will be conducting its own internal review," it said in a statement Friday.

Proud moment

England's Benjamin Proud won their first gold in the swimming in the men's 50m butterfly, beating South African duo Roland Schoeman and 200m Olympic butterfly champion Chad le Clos.

The 19-year-old set a new British record of 22.93 in taking gold from the illustrious duo. "Proud is a talented athlete," said the 34-year-old Schoeman.

There was an upset in the women's 100m butterfly as Australia's Alicia Coutts finished out of the medals in fourth behind Canada's Katerine Savard, who won gold in 57.40 seconds, a Games record.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:38 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Click through our gallery of the most dramatic moments from the world of sport.
updated 12:06 PM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
updated 12:04 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.