In an almost replay of 2012 London, Great Britain lined up on the opposite side of the Olympic Games velodrome against the USA in the women’s team pursuit gold-medal final in Rio de Janerio Saturday. And in the nail-biting finale, the quartet of Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Joanna Roswell-Shand not only brought their nation another gold medal in the discipline but also a new world record of 4:10.236
"The feeling we were getting, it was like this machine was coming together,” Trott said via the British Cycling’s website. “To come away with a time of 4.10 was honestly incredible."
In the gold-medal round, the USA went out strong and led the early laps with Sarah Hammer, who pulled along a young team of Kelly Catlin, Chloe Dygert and Jennifer Valente. Initially down one second, Great Britain took the lead at the halfway point and not only took back that one-second deficit but gained an advantage of one second. The US lost a rider in the closing laps, as did Great Britain but the British trio still managed to pick up another second on the Americans, and continued strong through the final lap to break their own world record and win the gold medal.
"This means the world to me," Rowsell Shand said. "I won gold four years ago but this was a much harder battle. It has not all been going our way over the last two years, but we pulled together."
Three gold medals
It was Trott’s third gold medal at the Olympic Games having also won gold medals in the 2012 London in the team pursuit and the Omnium. That achievement makes her the first British woman to win three gold medals at the Olympic Games.
"[Winning a third gold medal] was something I wanted to achieve and to do it alongside these three girls is just incredible," Trott said.
Asked in a interview with the Daily Mail if she had thought about what it would mean to be Great Britain’s most successful female Olympian ahead of the women’s team pursuit on Saturday night, Trott said, “You try not to think about that coming into a race, but I was getting people tweet me, and having articles written about it.
“I was like, "I just want to think about this, this would be a really nice achievement if I could go out and do that.’”