China launches second appeal against team sprint relegation

Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang were stripped of gold medal

The Chinese cycling team has sent a second letter of appeal to the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) following the women’s sprint team’s relegation from the gold medal to silver at the Olympic Games. The first appeal was rejected last Friday.

Gong Jinjie leading and Guo Shuang appeared to have won the gold on the opening night of track competition in the velodrome, finishing 0.179 seconds quicker than the German pair Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte in the final, but were relegated to silver for a botched exchange.

The stunning news came after the Chinese had already celebrated their victory lap and the Germans had gone off to do their interviews. Once back inside the track, Vogel and Welte were quickly cleaned up and whisked away to the medal ceremony to receive their first gold medals.

China manager Pan Zhichen argued in the latest letter, as revealed by the China Daily that Jinjie and Guo had not changed in their riding technique over their three matches and on that basis, the team should have been penalised earlier. He also accused the referees of double standards over the team sprint competition. Pan was critical of the decision, saying it was not believable and that it had upset the team.

UCI president Pat McQuaid said at the time in an interview that the sport’s governing body would not interfere in the matter.


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