Showing posts tagged olympics
Back with another one of those track-rockin’ beats! Personally I prefer the extended version I posted last week but damn this video is rad.
LONDON OLYMPICS: GREAT BRITAIN ON FIRE
The track cycling events are all wrapped up at London’s Olympic Velodrome now and it is without a doubt that the Brits are still the super power on the track. I will admit that there were times in the past few years where I thought the British dynasty was over. Since the 2008 Olympics, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and USA all seem to have had moments where they overpowered the UK in certain events. However, while bidding farewell to some of their veteran stars and simultaneously ushering in young, fresh champions into the international spotlight, British Cycling has proven that they are still the force to be reckoned with. Over the past 6 days in London, British track cyclists were awarded 9 Olympic medals (7 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze) and have raised the bar on 3 World Records. Major kudos go out to Team GB for such an impressive show on their own home turf.
OLYMPICS: MEN’S KEIRIN
While one of Great Britain’s track megastars faded away in second place, the other went out with a huge bang. Sir Chris Hoy owned the men’s Keirin event earlier today at the London Olympic Velodrome and became Britain’s most successful Olympian of all time, decorated with 6 Gold medals.
In typical Hoy fashion, it didn’t look like our Keirin World Champion would take the win until the last fraction of a second leading up to the finishline. After advancing through the tournament with ease, Hoy began the final heat in the third position behind the derny. As the derny pulled off, the race between some of the fastest racers in the world starts off. With to laps to go, Hoy pulls to the front of the field and creates a small gap. The gap doesn’t last long as Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang sticks to Hoy’s wheel. The bell rings to signify the the last lap and Germany’s Maximilian Levy comes around the field to come up next to Hoy’s bike. On the back straight, it looks as if Hoy is running out of gas and Levy might have him beat. But Levy has a longer distance to travel on the outside of turns three and four and Hoy takes advantage of that. He pulls hard and strong through the corners and slingshots into the front straight to take a demanding lead towards the finishline. Another amazing win for Sir Chris Hoy as the stadium’s crowd roars.
Hoy has said before that he will be retiring after the London Olympics but it’s really up in the air. A couple years ago Hoy had to drop out of competing in the Commonwealth Games at New Delhi in order to chase down Olympic qualification points at the European Championships. Hoy laments this decision as the Commonwealth Games provide a rare opportunity to represent his native country of Scotland in an international competition. The 2014 Commonwealth Games will take place in Glasgow at the newly built Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. The competition is still a couple years away so Hoy has not decided yet whether or not to sign up. We’ll see.
GOLD — Great Britain (Sir Chris Hoy)
SILVER — Germany (Maximilian Levy)
BRONZE (tied) — Netherlands (Teun Mulder) and New Zealand (Simon van Velthooven)
Full results available HERE. Watch the final heat at NBC Olympics. Photos courtesy of The Guardian.
OLYMPICS: WOMEN’S SPRINT
The final ride for Great Britain’s Queen of the Sprints, Victoria Pendleton. I think everyone was hoping for a rematch of the 2008 Olympics when Victoria Pendleton beat Australienne Anna Meares for the Gold. The two rivals met earlier this year at the World Championship Sprint finals in Melbourne where Pendleton proved to be the stronger rider. Now it’s time for one last race before Pendleton’s retirement from the track.
At the end of the three-day tournament, Meares and Pendleton found themselves matched up against each other for the Gold once again. The first two win two out of three heats is declared victorious. The first heat was almost too close to call. According to the photo finish, Pendleton beat Meares by .001 seconds. However she was relegated for coming out of the pole lane during the final sprint.
The second heat started with Meares up by one though she had to start in the front — a disadvantage in Match Sprinting. Pendleton followed Meares up and down the track for the first three quartes of a lap as they played classic the cat and mouse game. Coming out of turn four, Meares moved high up the track and trackstanded to force a pass. Pendleton couldn’t stay behind her opponent and moved to the front. This is where she lost the Gold medal and it seems she knew it.
Pendleton took a gap in front of Meares and tried to lead out the sprint going into the bell lap, but it looked half-hearted. Meares overtook Pendleton with ease on the back straight and won the Gold medal by several bike lengths. During the medal ceremony, Victoria Pendleton bid a tearful farewell to the sold out crowd at the London Olympic Velodrome.
GOLD — Australia (Anna Meares)
SILVER — Great Britain (Victoria Pendleton)
BRONZE — China (Shuang Guo)
See the full results HERE. Watch the final heat at NBC Olympics. Photos courtesy of London2012.com
OLYMPICS: WOMEN’S OMNIUM
A six-race event which is contested over two days and includes mass-start racing as well as time trials. This Omnium was certainly a close call with USA’s Sarah Hammer and Great Britain’s Laura Trott tied in points at the end of the first day. For the last three races, Hammer and Trott were neck and neck — leapfrogging each other by a single point in the standings.
In the final race, the twenty-year old Laura Trott rode the fastest 500m Time Trial and Sarah Hammer (who rode the fastest 3000m Time Trial) got the 4th fastest time. In the final standings, Trott won the Gold medal over Hammer by two points. A very close one indeed.
GOLD — Great Britain (Laura Trott)
SILVER — United States (Sarah Hammer)
BRONZE — Australia (Annette Edmondson)
Full results available HERE. Photos courtesy of VeloNews.
OLYMPICS: MEN’S SPRINT
Without a doubt, the Blue Riband at the velodrome is the Match Sprint Gold medal. This is where the fastest and fiercest in the world duke it out for the win. Most folks thought the Olympic tournament would be watered down because of the new rules that only one athlete per country could represent. However the three-day tournament proved to be pretty exciting.
Everyone had eyes on Jason Kenny who was picked by Team GB over defending Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy to contest the Sprint. After Kenny qualified fastest and broke the Flying 200 Olympic Record, we all expected to find him in the final round against France’s World Champion Gregory Baugé. Aside from tenth-seeded Njisane Philip from Trinidad & Tobago making it to the Bronze final against Australia’s Shane Perkins, there were barely any upsets in the final results but still some good racing all around.
GOLD — Great Britain (Jason Kenny)
SILVER — France (Gregory Baugé)
BRONZE — Australia (Shane Perkins)
Full results available HERE. Photos courtesy of NBC Olympics (and check out the video of the final round HERE).
OLYMPICS: MEN’S OMNIUM
This brand new Olympic event awards the most well-rounded track racer — or as Phil Liggett puts it, the “jack of all trades and master of none”. Though I hate that some of the greatest track events were removed from the Olympics such as the Kilo and the Individual Pursuit, I do enjoy the Omnium.
The winner of the very first Olympic Gold in the Omnium is Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen. It was a close match as Hansen was tied for first place with France’s Bryan Coquard and Italy’s Elia Viviani going into the last event. In the end, Hansen put down the second fastest Kilo time and took the Gold.
GOLD — Denmark (Lasse Norman Hansen)
SILVER — France (Bryan Coquard)
BRONZE — Great Britain (Edward Clancy)
Full results available HERE. Photos courtesy of London2012.com
OLYMPICS: WOMEN’S TEAM PURSUIT
At this point it becomes pretty clear which country will “win” the Olympics in track cycling. The British team of Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell broke the World Record three times — in the qualification round, then again in the first round heat against Canada and one more time in the final heat against USA. The new World Record stands at 3:14.051 (previously it was 3:15.720 set by the same team at World Championships this year).
GOLD — Great Britain (Dani King / Laura Trott / Joanna Rowsell)
SILVER — United States (Sarah Hammer / Dotsie Bausch / Lauren Tamayo)
BRONZE — Canada (Tara Whitten / Gillian Carleton / Jasmin Glaesser)
Full results available HERE. Photos courtesy of London2012.com