ABERGAVENNY cyclist Becky James is celebrating her first Olympic medal after racing to silver in the women's keirin at Rio 2016.

The 24-year-old, who is making her Olympic debut in Brazil, delivered a storming finish to snatch second place from Australian Anna Meares.

James was just 0.033 seconds behind gold medallist Elis Ligtlee, who succeeds Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton as Olympic keirin champion.

"I'm lost for words," said James after the race. "I don't think I've ever been lost for words. I can't believe that just happened. I'm over the moon.

"I love the keirin and love the racing. I got through the first round and was just going to enjoy the whole day of racing.

"I had so much speed in the last half (of the final), I don't know where it came from. I was so desperate for a medal."

Ten members of James' family are out in Rio supporting her - she will also go for another medal in the sprint - as is boyfriend George North.

Following her success, James paid tribute to those who had helped her during her career, particularly over the last 18 months, during which time she has overcome a serious knee injury and cancer scare.

James rode the final in complete contrast to her two previous rounds.

In the first round and semi-final, James had attacked from the front to come first and second respectively.

However, in the final, she waited at the back of the field as the derny - a motorbike that guides the riders for the first portion of the race - led the cyclists around the velodrome.

Ligtlee powered her way to the line, while James surged from last place to second on the final lap, just pipping Meares on the line.

James' silver comes a few days after Brynmawr's Sam Cross picked up a medal of the same colour as part of Team GB's men's sevens rugby squad.