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Great Britain win dramatic team gold at the velodrome

Posted on 7:04 AM by Sameer Shah


The Great Britain trio of Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy had opened Britain's track campaign in sensational fashion by smashing the world record in the team sprint in qualifying.

Following a successful knock-out round against the USA, they then out-raced favourites France in the final.

Meanwhile, Bradley Wiggins dispelled any doubts about a bug that had affected him in the run-up to the competition by smashing his own Olympic record at the qualifying stage of the men's individual pursuit, clocking a time of 4:15.03.

And medal prospects were looking good in the women's pursuit when the fastest two times in qualifying were recorded by British riders.

Wendy Houvenaghel was quickest in 3:28.443 over the 3000m and world champion Rebecca Romero was next in 3:28.641.

Great Britain set the marker down in the team sprint heats when they tore around the three laps - 750 metres in total - in a jaw-dropping 42.950 seconds to break France's old record by over .30secs and become the first team ever to drop under the mythical 43 second barriers which until recently has been considered impossible. It was a sensational ride by any criteria.

Jamie Staff, as he as been doing for months now, set off with a near world record 17.1secs from a standing start and then it was over to young Jason Kenny, a former triple world junior champion, who has joined the team this year and been charged with the task of hanging onto Staff and pressing on during the second lap.

This he did brilliantly and with Chris Hoy powering around the final lap in imperious form it the world record was cracked asunder and a huge message of intent sent to the other track cycling squads.

France, the former world record holders, finished their heat in 43.541 seconds which on any other day would be considered an outstanding ride and a final between the world's two fastest teams seems very much on the cards.

Meanwhile, Steven Burke set a new personal best in the 4km pursuit slicing nine seconds off his best in 4.22.260secs to take the lead.

The fastest eight today will go through to tomorrow's first round when the fastest qualifier will ride against the eighth best, second against seventh. From that round the fastest two will meet in the medal final later tomorrow with the third and fourth riding off for the bronze medal.

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