Australia’s men’s team pursuit ended in a crash on the first day of Olympic track cycling in Tokyo, the same day that both Italy and Denmark set new Olympic marks in the race.
Tomorrow, the teams from Denmark, Italy, New Zealand, and Great Britain will compete for gold in the team pursuit, while in the women’s event, Germany broke Great Britain’s world record to qualify as the top seed, followed by the previous record holders in second place, the United States, and Italy in third.
In the women’s team sprint, China came out on top, defeating Germany, who had to settle for silver, and ROC, which had to settle for bronze, by beating the Netherlands.
- 1 China’s Women’s Sprinting Team Cruised to a Gold Medal Performance.
- 2 Germany’s Women’s Pursuit Team Just Broke the World Record for Fastest Qualifying Time.
- 3 While the Australian Men’s Team’s Chances of Qualifying for the Olympics take a Major hit, Great Britain maintains its Place Among the Gold Medal Contenders.
China’s Women’s Sprinting Team Cruised to a Gold Medal Performance.
A total of eight teams were present for the team sprint qualifying rounds; all of them would go on to compete in the finals a few hours later, but first they needed to get through the first two rounds of timed progressions.
With a timing of 32.102 seconds, Germany was the fastest nation, followed by China (32.135) and the Netherlands and ROC (Republic of China) at a distance. The next four countries were Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, and Mexico.
In the opening heat, ROC prevailed against Mexico. The Netherlands then eliminated Poland, who had run slower than ROC. Finally, China broke its own world record set in Rio 2016 by finishing ahead of Lithuania with a time of 31.804.
Germany needed a faster time than the Netherlands to make the final, and they broke China’s old 2016 world record with a time of 31.905, which they ran in the final heat against the Ukraine.
After Poland and Ukraine settled for seventh and eighth, while Lithuania and Mexico settled for fifth and sixth, respectively, the ROC and the Netherlands competed for the bronze medal, with the ROC easily defeating the Dutch to win the first track medal of these Games.
China won the gold medal race after leading going into the final lap, but Germany came back for a photo finish. Ultimately, though, the Europeans weren’t able to catch up in time, and they had to settle for silver.
Germany’s Women’s Pursuit Team Just Broke the World Record for Fastest Qualifying Time.
France kicked off the eighth and final round of women’s team pursuit qualifiers, with each team seeking to record the fastest time over 4,000 metres. Only the top four teams would advance to the final round and compete for gold and silver.
Italy finished ahead of France, but neither country came close to breaking the previous world mark set by Great Britain (4:10.236). This record was later broken by Germany (4:07.307).
After France, slower times were recorded by New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, leaving the United States and Great Britain as the only remaining world champions.
After a strong start, the Americans slowed down after the halfway point, with Chloe Dygert falling behind the rest of her team as she attempted to speed things up.
Nonetheless, she finished in 4 minutes and 10.118 seconds, good enough for second place and fast enough to break the previous world record.
With Katie Archibald looked particularly powerful, Great Britain got out to a quick start and eventually ended up establishing the second-fastest time (4:09.022) in the race.
In the end, the women’s team pursuit qualified.
- The winner is…Germany, with a time of 4:07.307 (WR)
- The United Kingdom 4:09.022
- USA 4:10.118
- Italy 4:11.666
- Division plays the English 4:2:502
- 4:12.536 New Zealand
- Australia, 4:3:571
- the World: 4:15.832
While the Australian Men’s Team’s Chances of Qualifying for the Olympics take a Major hit, Great Britain maintains its Place Among the Gold Medal Contenders.
The Canadians started things off with a sloppy performance that was matched by the Germans not long afterward; both countries’ times were just a hair slower than the current Olympic record of 3:50.256, which was widely anticipated to be broken soon.
A second slower than the previous best, Switzerland was eliminated from contention before Filippo Ganna of Italy smashed the Olympic record with a time of 3:45.895. With a timing of 3:46.079, New Zealand moved up to second place.
Winners of multiple world championships and record-setters Next up was Denmark, who got out to a quick lead and never let it slip. They finished ahead of Italy and in a new Olympic record time of 3:45.014, which should alarm their competitors heading into the finals.
At the end of the first lap, Australia had a slight lead over Denmark, but then disaster struck when Alexander Porter’s handlebars broke and he crashed. As the rules permit, the Australians indicated their want to continue play when Porter got back up after being knocked down and checked for injuries.
After the Australians had settled down and the track had been repaired, Team GB got the race underway, with the British team falling behind Denmark by two seconds in the first half before making up some ground in the last stages and finishing in a provisional fourth place at 3:47.507.
Soon after, Australia returned, but they had evidently been shaken by the collision in their first try, as they could only manage a time slower than Great Britain’s (3:48.448) and ultimately finished in fifth place.
The end result was the men’s team pursuit qualifying.
- Denmark 3,45.014 (OR)
- Italy 3:45.895
- New Zealand 3:46:079
- Britain: 3:47,507
- Australia 3:48.448
- Canada 3:50.455″
- German team finished at 3:50:830.
- Switzerland seed, finished third with a time of 3:51.51