Tokyo 2020 Olympics track day three round-up: Men's team pursuit finals, crashes and a lot of sprinting

The team pursuit final was the star attraction on the third day of competition in the Izu Velodrome

Filippo Ganna celebrates team pursuit gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The third day of competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was packed full with action yet again, but the star event was the men's team pursuit final with an amazing battle between Italy and Denmark for gold.

The day got going with sprinting though, with the men's  qualifiers followed by the women's Keirin heats.  

The main highlight from it from a British point of view was that reigning champion Jason Kenny made it through with relative ease in the men's sprint qualifying. He didn't qualify near the top but he did what he needed to do to get through the early match sprints. Jack Carlin also qualified in third and powered through to the next rounds despite being forced off the track in his second heat.

>>> Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Italy snatch gold from Denmark in tightly fought men's team pursuit final

On the flip side of that in the Keirin, Katy Marchant was relegated in her first race and forced to ride in the Repechage, after she deviated from her line in the sprint. She did bounce back by winning her repechage and move onto the next round.

The team pursuits came with Team GB going out first to battle with Switzerland to decide seventh and eighth place with the Brits coming through to take the seventh spot. GB had been forced out of the medals after their ride against Denmark yesterday, when the Danish team crashed into the back of Charlie Tanfield but were allowed to progress through to the gold medal final. 

Team pursuit finals continued with Canada beating the Germans comfortably for 5th and 6th. New Zealand went into the bronze medal ride against Australia as the favourites, however, a bizarre crash where the back rider touched the wheel of his team-mate spoiled any chances for the New Zealanders as Australia caught the remaining three riders to claim bronze.  

Onto the gold medal ride between Italy and Denmark as the main event and it really lived up to expectations. 

Italy went out fast, taking the early lead but the Danish stepped up their pace going into the second phase of the race and they continued to pull their gap out to 0.6 seconds. But, Filippo Ganna hit the front with just a bit over two laps to go cutting the gap down massively at each split with 0.032 seconds between them with half a lap to go.

Italy smashed through to take the gold medal and break their own world record in the process. Huge celebrations from the Italians as they beat the world champions and former world record holders, Denmark. 

Thursday, August 5 sees the finals for the women's Keirin and the men's match sprinting as well as the men's Omnium race with all four events taking place on the same day to find the new Olympic champion.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.