Women's team pursuit gold pushes Team GB up to third place in medal table
Saturday, 04 August 2012
August 4 - The women's team pursuit trio of Dani King (pictured, left), Laura Trott (pictured, centre) and Joanna Rowsell (pictured, right) continued Britain's stunning form here tonight as they claimed the home nation's third gold medal at the Velodrome and 11th Team GB win overall at London 2012 with victory over the United States in a world record time of 3mins 14.051sec.
The gold medal winning feat over the 3,000 metres was all the more impressive given that they have, in an unprecedented achievement, broken the team pursuit world record in each of their last six rides in the competition.
The reigning world champions started the evening in front of a noisy, partisan crowd at the Velodrome crushing rivals Canada to qualify for the final against the US in a world record of 3:14.682.
The American's were in confident mood as they booked their spot in the gold medal final after an impressive win over Australia in a national record time of 3:16.853.
But the USA team of Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch and Lauren Tamayo proved to be no match for the Britons, who, boosted by a crowd that included Opening Ceremony star and former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, stormed to the top of the podium on what is proving one of the fastest cycling tracks in history.
The American team was blitzed completely, finishing over five seconds behind in 3:19.727.
Canada took the bronze in 3:17.915 with victory in their race against Australia.
After one of the most spectacular track cycling performances in recent memory, the night belonged to the Britons.
"It is pretty overwhelming," said Rowsell, who led out the team.
"It is very easy to get carried away with the noise and the atmosphere.
"But once the race starts you feed off that.
"It's an incredible feeling, the crowd have been fantastic.
"The whole country has been getting behind the Olympics and it is brilliant.
Britain's win comes in the first staging of the women's event at the Olympics and follows a gold medal for the men's team pursuiters on Friday.
Trott, the youngest of the trio at 20, will also go for gold in the women's omnium, a multiple race even that begins next week.
If successful, she will become only the second female track cyclist to win two track golds at a single Games, joining France's Félicia Ballanger who won the 500m time trial and women's sprint at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Elsewhere at the Velodrome, Britain's Jason Kenny qualified easily for the quarter-final of the men's sprint disposing of South African Bernard Esterhuizen without even reaching top gear and received a glowing review form Mark Cavendish in the BBC commentary box.
"Jason Kenny was absolutely brilliant," said Cavendish, who missed out on a medal in the men's road race on day one of the Olympics.
"It would have been a tough choice for the selectors to pick him over Sir Chris Hoy [in the men's sprint] but he's shown he's the perfect choice for another British gold medal."
August 2012: Retiring Pendleton gives Britain another golden night in the Velodrome
August 2012: Britain's most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy gives Team GB cycling another day in sun