Great Britain sweep opening night of track cycling with new Olympic and World Records

Great Britain grab gold in men's team sprint, set fastest team pursuit times in qualifying rounds

Great Britain have been a dominant force on the track at the Olympic Games in recent years, and that showed no sign of abating on the opening day of competition in Rio. As was the case in London four years ago and in Beijing in 2008, the men's team sprinters got things off to the perfect start, winning the first gold medal on offer. In both of those Games, GB went on to win seven of the ten gold medals, and both pursuit teams gave reason to believe there could be another sizeable haul here as the women's quartet qualified with a World Record time and Bradley Wiggins and co progressed with what was comfortably the strongest time of the men's field. 

GB set Olympic Record to take team sprint Gold

For the third Olympic Games in a row, Great Britain won the first gold medal on offer in the men's team sprint, with Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner breaking the Olympic record twice en route to victory. 

The trio set a record time of 42.562 over the 750m (3 laps) in the qualifying round to signal their intent, though they faced stiff competition from New Zealand as Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Edward Dawkins finished 0.111 in arrears. Australia, with sprinters Nathan Hart, Matthew Glaetzer and Patrick Constable, ended the opening qualifier in third place, 0.596 back with a time of 42.158.

France and Australia won their subsequent heats to contest the bronze medal, with the French coming from behind to take it thanks to a strong last lap from Michael d'Almeida. As expected, GB and New Zealand won their heats, with the Kiwis breaking the Olympic Record (with 42.535) that had just been set by the Brits to set up a mouthwatering final. 

In the final Hindes rode a 17-second opening lap for the Brits and it was nail-bitingly tight for the next lap. In the end it was down to GB's man 3, Callum Skinner, who has faced doubts over his performances in the build-up to these Games, to overcome the pressure and produce the ride of his life to secure gold by just over one-tenth of a second - a new Olympic Record at 42.440.

"That was unbelievable. I know what it feels like to be in Callum Skinner's position and he dealt with it in great fashion," said six-time Olympic champion Chris Hoy. "He's worked so hard to win his place in the team - he did that and there were all kinds of doubters. Psychology made the difference in that final. Of the two teams it was a case of who could hold their nerve. And Great Britain had that belief.

"I don't want to say anything in case I jinx it, but that could be the start of three golds," he said of Kenny, who, if so, would equal Hoy's gold-medal count after winning two golds at London 2012 and one in Beijing. "He really looks in great form now and he has to be a favourite for the sprint. The keirin is a bit of a lottery but he has to be in with a shout."

Great Britain set World Record in women's team pursuit qualifying

Great Britain's women's team pursuit won the qualifying round of their event during track's opening night at the Olympic Games, establishing themselves as the favourites for gold with a World Record time.

The team of Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker, Joanna Roswell-Shand raced their way to a 4:13.260, which was just over a second quicker than the USA, whose quartet of Sarah Hammer, Kelly Catlin, Chloe Dygert and Jennifer Valente looked more ragged than they had when they dominated the World Championships in March. Australia, who crashed heavily in training earlier this week, qualified third, 5.799 seconds slower than GB, with a team that includes Georgia Baker, Annette Edmondson, Amy Cure and Melissa Hoskins.

Wiggins and Co. set fastest time in men's team pursuit qualifying round

In the men's team pursuit races, the British team led by Bradley Wiggins easily outpaced their competition to set the standard in the qualifying round at 3:51.943. Team GB beat surprise package Denmark by more than three seconds at 3.453, while Australia, who beat GB to become world champions in March, were 3.663 seconds back.

New Zealand was fourth fastest, 4.034 seconds behind the winners, while Italy claimed the fifth spot at 7.765. Germany and Switzerland finished sixth and seventh, respectively, and will move on to the next round.

Netherlands looked to be on target to make the qualifying cut, but a crash near the end of their run put an end to any medal hopes the Dutch may have had. Instead, China claimed the eighth-and-final spot and will move on.

Results

Men's Team Sprint Qualifying
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Great Britain0:00:42.562 
 Philip Hindes  
 Jason Kenny  
 Callum Skinner  
2New Zealand0:00:42.673 
 Ethan Mitchell  
 Sam Webtser  
 Edward Dawkins  
3Australia0:00:43.158 
 Nathan Hart  
 Matthew Glaetzer  
 Patrick Constable  
4France0:00:43.185 
 Gregory Bauge  
 Francois Pervis  
 Michael D'Almeida  
5Poland0:00:43.297 
 Rafal Sarnekci  
 Damien Zielinski  
 Krzysztof Maksel  
6Netherlands0:00:43.688 
 Jeffrey Hoogland  
 Theo Bos  
 Matthijs Buchli  
7Germany0:00:43.711 
 Rene Enders  
 Joachim Eilers  
 Maximilian Levy  
8Venezuela0:00:44.263 
 Cesar Marcano  
 Hersony Canelon  
 Angel Pulgar  
9Republic of Korea  
 Jeyong Son  
 Chaebin Im  
 Dongjin Kang  
Men's Team Sprint Round 1 - Heat 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1France0:00:43.153 
 Gregory Bauge  
 Francois Pervis  
 Michael D'Almeida  
2Poland0:00:43.555 
 Rafal Sarnekci  
 Damien Zielinski  
 Krzysztof Maksel  
Men's Team Sprint Round 1 - Heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Australia0:00:43.166 
 Nathan Hart  
 Matthew Glaetzer  
 Patrick Constable  
2Netherlands0:00:43.552 
 Jeffrey Hoogland  
 Theo Bos  
 Matthijs Buchli  
Men's Team Sprint Round 1 - Heat 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1New Zealand0:00:42.535 
 Ethan Mitchell  
 Sam Webtser  
 Edward Dawkins  
2Germany0:00:43.455 
 Rene Enders  
 Joachim Eilers  
 Maximilian Levy  
Men's Team Sprint Round 1 - Heat 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Great Britain0:00:42.640 
 Philip Hindes  
 Jason Kenny  
 Callum Skinner  
2Venezuela0:00:44.486 
 Cesar Marcano  
 Hersony Canelon  
 Angel Pulgar  
Men's Team Sprint Bronze Race
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
3France0:00:43.143 
 Gregory Bauge  
 Francois Pervis  
 Michael D'Almeida  
4Australia0:00:43.298 
 Nathan Hart  
 Matthew Glaetzer  
 Patrick Constable  
Men's Team Sprint Gold Race
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Great Britain0:00:42.440 
 Philip Hindes  
 Jason Kenny  
 Callum Skinner  
2New Zealand0:00:42.542 
 Ethan Mitchell  
 Sam Webtser  
 Edward Dawkins  

 

Women's Team Pursuit Qualifiying
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Great Britain0:04:13.260 
 Katie Archibald  
 Laura Trott  
 Elinor Baker  
 Joanna Rowswll-Shand  
2United States0:04:14.286 
 Sarah Hammer  
 Kelly Caitline  
 Chloe Dygert  
 Jennifer Valente  
3Australia0:04:19.059 
 Georgia Baker  
 Annette Edmondson  
 Amy Cure  
 Melissa Hoskins  
4Canada0:04:19.599 
 Allison Beveridge  
 Jasmin Glaeser  
 Laura Brown  
 Georgia Simmerling  
5New Zealand0:04:20.061 
 Lauren Ellis  
 Raquel Sheath  
 Rushlee Buchanan  
 Jaime Nielson  
6China0:04:25.246 
 Dongyan Huang  
 Yali Jing  
 Menglu Ma  
 Baofan Zhao  
7Italy0:04:25.543 
 Simona Frapporti  
 Tatiana Guderzo  
 Francesca Pattaro  
 Silvia Valsecchi  
8Poland0:04:28.988 
 Daria Pikulik  
 Edyta Jasinska  
 Justyna Kaczkowska  
 Natlia Rutkowska  
9Germany0:04:30.068 
 Gudrun Stock  
 Charlotte Becker  
 Mieke Kroger  
 Stephanie Pohl  

 

Men's Team Pursuit Qualifying
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Great Britain0:03:51.943 
 Ed Clancy  
 Steven Burke  
 Owain Doull  
 Bradely Wiggins  
2Denmark0:03:55.396 
 Lasse Norman Hansen  
 Niklas Larsen  
 Frederik Madsen  
 Casper Von Folsach  
3Australia0:03:55.606 
 Alexander Edmondson  
 Jack Bobridge  
 Michael Hepburn  
 Sam Welsford  
4New Zealand0:03:55.977 
 Pieter Bulling  
 Aaron Gate  
 Dylan Kennett  
 Regan Gough  
5Italy0:03:59.708 
 Simone Consonni  
 Liam Bertazzo  
 Filippo Ganna  
 Francesco Lamon  
6Germany0:04:00.911 
 Henning Bommel  
 Nils Schomber  
 Kersetn Thiele  
 Domenic Weinstein  
7Switzerland0:04:03.845 
 Olivier Beer  
 Silvan Diller  
 Thery Schir  
 Cyrille Thiery  
8China0:04:05.152 
 Yang Fan  
 Liu Hao  
 Chenlu Qin  
 Pingan Shen  
DNFNetherlands  
 Tim Veldt  
 Wim Stroetinga  
 Jan-Willem Van Schip  
 Joost Van Der Burg  

 

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