Great Britain's men's sprint team beat its own world record and defend its Olympic Games' title at the London velodrome on Thursday, beating France into silver while Germany was forced to settle for bronze.
Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy set the fastest time in qualifying with 43.065 seconds. This came after the team was forced to restart after Hindes lost his front wheel and crashed on the first lap.
However, it was in the team's heat against Japan in which the defending champions but down their most important marker, setting a time of 42.747 and breaking the world record. In the final against France, the British trio set a time of 42.600 to take gold, with Dave Brailsford even celebrating before Hoy had crossed the finish line.
"We knew it was possible," said Hoy.
"This didn't just come out of the blue, but we knew if we kept it together, we had to have the best possible race. It's easier said than done. We had an excellent training camp in Newport. We had the full support of the team, and we nailed it.
Hoy's efforts signalled his fifth gold medal in a glittering career that now sees him tied with Sir Steve Redgrave as Britain's most successful Olympic gold medallist.
"It's just great to win here in the UK, in front of this crowd, it's phenomenal. You cannot overstate what this means to us. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Dave Brailsford said to us after Bradley's Wiggins' time trial that this was your chance, that you're never going to get this again, to enjoy it. We enjoyed it and we gave it our all."
After missing out on a medal in April's Worlds, where the team were disqualified, Jason Kenny added that the squad had a point to prove as it searched to defend its Beijing crown.
"We really wanted to do this after our world championships went disastrously wrong. We kept it really tight and controlled the emotions."
"This one is unbelievable. It's great, isn't it? I cannot believe how good things went here today. There are a few guys here who are absolutely flying, we knew it was going to be a really close competition. This was probably the closest sprint competition there's ever been."
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