Britain keep gold-winning track wheels in motion
Tip News - 2012/08/04       A+ A-
LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP)

Britain's unstoppable track team keptthe gold medals coming in more record time Saturday as rivals were left in the shade for the third consecutive day at the Olympic velodrome

After three days of enthralling but one-sided competition the hosts took their fourth gold medal from five finals thanks to a British women's pursuit team which set its third world record in as many rides.

Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell had set a new world record of 3:15.669 in qualifying fastest for the women's team pursuit, which is making its Olympic debut, on Friday.

That feat was among many achieved on the second day, when Britain's celebrations became just too much for some puzzled rivals.

"Here, they're crushing everybody. The women (in the team pursuit) are four seconds faster than everybody else," said French track cycling chief Isabelle Gautheron.

On Saturday it was more of the same, except King, Trott and Rowsell went even faster. A day after the men's pursuit team smashed their own world record for the 4 km event in 3:51.659, the English trio were in imperious form.

First, they took nearly a second off their time from Friday when posting 3:14.682 to qualify fastest for the gold medal match.

With barely 90 minutes to recover, King, Trott and Rowsell got back on their bikes and within 90 seconds of the final had virtually sealed the first women's Olympic team pursuit gold in history.

"We came together tonight with such an amazing team. We couldn't have done it without each other. I'm just ecstatic. I've never been so happy in my life," said King.

After a celebratory rendition of David Bowie's 'Heroes', the 6000 capacity crowd, including Paul McCartney and world road race champion Mark Cavendish, joined in after the podium presentation as 'Hey Jude' blasted from the sound system.

Trott later quipped: "Who expects a Beatle to be here? It's not often you can say that you've blown a kiss at a Beatle."

It was the eighth British world record, but as the Velodrome erupted the Australian camp -- who have one bronze (women's team sprint) and one silver (men's team pursuit) -- could only look on dejected.

"I feel absolutely devastated," said Australia's Josephine Tomic.

Australia will now look to Shane Perkins to shine in the sprint after he qualified for the quarter-finals where he will meet feisty Californian firefighter Jimmy Watkins.

Watkins is happy just to be in London where his biggest boost could be the lack of expectation.

"Just ride your race, do light training - there's no stress, then you are at your best," he said.

Like Australia, France are one of the few teams capable of stopping Britain from achieving a repeat of their haul in Beijing when they won seven of the 10 track gold medals.

Although Mickael Bourgain carries their hopes into the men's keirin, where Chris Hoy will bid for a sixth Olympic gold, their big hope is three-time world sprint champion Gregory Bauge.

Bauge was given warning earlier after Beijing silver medallist Jason Kenny set a new Olympic record for the 200m flying lap.

But the Frenchman came through his first and second rounds with ease and will now meet Germany's Robert Forstemann in Sunday's quarters.

"I've already won a world title without posting the fastest qualifying time," said a defiant Bauge.

"Now, it's one against one. I know that he (Kenny) is ready. I hope we meet in the final."

Kenny will meet Malaysia's Azizulhasni, while the fourth quarter sees Trinidad's Philip Nijsane face off against Russia's Denis Dmitriev.

The men's omnium, meanwhile, will resume with Frenchman Bryan Coquard in the lead going into the final three of the event's six races.

The man with the lowest points tally wins, and after winning the elimination race he is on 10 points, three fewer than Italy's Elia Viviani, with Australian Glenn O'Shea on 14 and Britain's Ed Clancy on 17.

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