Becky James beats Victoria Pendleton’s Olympic Record in women’s sprint qualifying

Compatriot Katy Marchant qualifies in second place

Becky James (Great Britain) set a new Olympic Record of 10.721 for the women’s track sprint in qualifying at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, beating the record held by her fellow Brit Victoria Pendleton from London 2012.

Not long after, Team GB’s second rider, Katy Marchant, was just 0.066s off her teammate’s new record. The British riders qualified in first and second.

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James went off early in proceedings on Sunday evening due to her low number of UCI points, but this pre-event standing clearly wasn’t indicative of form.

Fresh off the back of silver in the Keirin the night before, the British rider has laid down a marker as Britain look to continue their hugely successful Olympic track campaign.

The individual races against the clock will determine the head-to-head contests, with one more race on Sunday evening and the later rounds spread across Monday and Tuesday.

The women’s sprint final comes last in the running order on Tuesday August 16.

A busy evening of racing on Sunday sees the first races in the men’s omnium featuring Mark Cavendish, and the men’s sprint final which pits British teammates Callum Skinner and Jason Kenny against each other for gold.

Of the 27 starters, only the top 18 qualified for the further rounds of the women’s track sprint. As a result of qualifying first and second, the two Team GB riders shouldn’t meet each other until the later rounds.

More from the Olympics


Women’s sprint qualifying, 200m flying lap: Qualifiers only

1. Becky James (GBR) 10.721 [Olympic record]
2. Katy Marchant (GBR) 10.787
3. Lee Wai Sze (HKG) 10.800
4. Elis Ligtlee (NED) 10.803
5. Zhong Tianshi (CHN) 10.820
6. Kristina Vogel (GER) 10.865
7. Natasha Hansen (NZL) 10.871
8. Stephanie Morton (AUS) 10.875
9. Anna Meares (AUS) 10.947
10. Simona Krupeckaite (LTU) 10.978
11. Anastasiia Voinova (RUS) 10.985
12. Kate O’Brien (CAN) 11.020
13. Laurine Van Riessen (NED) 11.023
14. Miriam Welte (GER) 11.038
15. Jinjie Gong (CHN) 11.068
16. Virginie Cueff (FRA) 11.099
17. Monique Sullivan (CAN) 11.143
18. Olga Ismayilova (AZE) 11.152