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.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is 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.

Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.

When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.

He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.