LONDON OLYMPICS: WOMEN’S TEAM SPRINT
I usually find the first day of any international track meet to be kind of boring but today was definitely an exception at the London Olympic velodrome. We saw lots of records falling, tons of drama, upsets and of course some of the fastest track riding ever.
In the qualifying round, Great Britain’s team of Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish set a new World Record at 32.526 seconds (the previous record of 32.549 seconds was set by Germany at World Champs earlier this year). A couple heats later and China’s team of Jinjie Gong and Shuang Guo broke the new World Record at a blistering 32.447 seconds.
The top eight teams advanced to the first round and that’s where things started to get dramatic. Shockingly, British favorites Pendleton and Varnish were disqualified from the tournament because Pendleton’s bike overlapped Varnish’s prematurely. Of course the commissaries’ decision to disqualify Great Britain was not taken well by the crowd in the sold-out London Olympic Velodrome. In the next heat, China’s Gong and Guo once again raised the bar by a few thousandths of a second and set the new World Record at 32.442 seconds.
Advancing to the final round was Australia and Ukraine in the race for Bronze and China and Germany in the race for Gold. The Australiennes Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch won the Bronze medal while China beat Germany’s Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte only to get relegated for an exchange violation. The commissaries knocked China down to Silver and Germany took Gold. So with World Records tumbling and some bad luck for a couple teams, here are the Women’s Team Sprint medals:
GOLD - Germany (Kristina Vogel / Miriam Welte)
SILVER - China (Jinjie Gong / Shuang Guo)
BRONZE - Australia (Anna Meares / Kaarle McCulloch)
Full results are HERE. Photos courtesy of London2012.com