Only one set of medals were on offer at the Laoshan Velodrome on Sunday, and it was inevitable that the gold would end up in Britain’s possession. Rebecca Romero’s emotional win over team mate Wendy Houvenaghel in the final of the women’s pursuit continued British dominance on the track.
Overall, Britain now lies third on the medal table behind the United States and China with 11 golds, six silvers and eight bronze. Of these, five golds, three silvers and two bronze belong to cycling.
To get a perspective on how well the British team are doing, our original total target was 35 medals. So far, the British have racked up 25. For London the aim was to get fourth overall in the medal table. That already seems like a real possibility in Beijing.
And it’s in large part thanks to the cyclists. What better illustration of our superiority than the women’s pursuit final, where two Brits duelled for gold? Rebecca Romero and Wendy Houvenaghel both consistently clocked the best times through the qualifying rounds, the first round and the final.
Or the team pursuit, where our boys broke their own world record en route to Monday’s final? New Zealand, Australia and Denmark all clocked under four minutes in the heats, so the opposition is fierce. But Britain’s world record proved that they are in a class of their own.
And Victoria Pendleton, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny all set Olympic records in sprint qualification.
In the 1/16 final Hoy beat Russian Denis Dimitriev by diving through a gap with one and a half laps to go. Once you let Hoy to the front, all you?ll ever see is his back wheel, as Dimitriev discovered. Moments later Jason Kenny did the same with Pole Lukasz Kwiatkowski.
In the 1/8 final, Hoy was even more impressive, leading virtually all the way against Japan?s Kazunari Watanabe and accelerating as and when he wanted. Yes, the gap did decrease slightly at the end, but after two golds in two days, can you really be surprised?
Kenny had a bigger set-to in his 1/8 final with Malaysian Mohd Azizulhasni Awang. The Malaysian led Kenny very slowly up the banking until the Briton suddenly shot down past him and into the lead. Awang tried to come back at the finish, but it was too late.
Vicotria Pendleton was equally dominant in her 1/8 final against Sakie Tsukuda of Japan. In the second last bend, Pendelton stormed past her for a win that looked deceptively easy – the true mark of a champion.
Each day the medals flow in for Great Britain, and each day the foundations are laid for more to come. There is only one way to describe it really: track world domination.
|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: TRACK|
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Day two in pictures
Sunday’s action as it happened
Preview: Sunday at the Laoshan
Day two at the track: Summary of the action
Hoy and Edgar clean up in the Keirin
Wiggins gets pursuit gold, Burke wins bronze
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Saturday’s action as it happened: Two gold, a silver and two bronze for Britain
Blog: Life in Laoshan
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Brits blast to team sprint gold
Day one at the track: Summary of the action
Friday’s action as it happened: Gold for team sprint trio; Wiggins, Houvenaghel and Romero well in control
Burke blasts to new individual pursuit PB
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|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: NEWS|
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|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: ROAD|
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|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: GUIDE|
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