Olympic Games, Beijing, 2008
3km individual pursuit
talent Rebecca Romero secured her second Olympic medal but first medal on
the track. The first was won in rowing in Athens
Romero (Great Britain) never looked troubled during her rider for Gold,
against compatriot Wendy Houvenaghel. Romero was fastest through the first
2000m and despite a huge effort from Houvenaghel in the last 1000m she
could not match the speed of Romero.
the race for Bronze, Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine) beat Alison Shanks (New
Zealand) by over 3 seconds. Kalitovska
was fastest over the first 1000m
but lost time over the second to Shanks. Shanks could not gain any
ground though as Kalitovska gained ground again over the last 1000m to win
The gold medal will go to a British rider as Wendy Houvenaghel and Rebecca Romero qualified fastest. Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine) was never looked troubled to secure her spot in the ride for bronze against Alison Shanks of New Zealand.
The qualifying round saw the two British riders Wendy Houvenaghel and Rebecca Romero show just in inkling of the form that they have come to the Olympics in. Both riders were the only ones to go under 3 minutes 30 seconds in the qualifying round.
Eight riders went through from the qualifying round and tensions were high as they prepared to ride. First to ride were the New Zealander Alison Shanks and Sarah Hammer the America.
Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine) was up against Vilija Sereikaite of Lithuania. The Ukrainian never looked troubled to secure her spot in the ride for bronze.
Romero, the 2008 World Champion, rode off against Katie Mactier (Australia). Mactier was fastest over the first 750m but Romero quickly caught and passed Mactier with 200m to go.
Fastest qualifier, Houvenaghel, riding in her first Olympics was up against Lada Kozlikova from the Czech Republic who qualified in the slowest time of the eight. Houvenaghel caught the Czech rider with two laps to go.
Wendy Houvenaghel set the quickest time in the individual pursuit with a
time of 3 minutes 28.443 seconds. This time was a lifetime best time for
Houvenaghel who only took up pursuiting in late 2005. Team mate Rebecca
Romero, a rowing silver medalist for GB at the Athens 2004 Games, was second
quickest in 3:28.641. The two Brits were the only riders to duck under 3
minutes 30 seconds. Third fastest was Lesya Kalitovska the Ukrainian power
house in 3 minutes 31.9 seconds.
Kozlikova, the Czech rider, started the competition but did not really make
any impression early on. She did, however manage to scrape into 8th
position overall and secured a place in the next round.
in the third group, Karin Thürig was probably the most surprising of the
riders not to go through. The pursuit has been one of her target events over
the last few year but her time trial bronze medal from earlier in the week
had obviously taken a toll on her. Thürig was 12th fastest after
the first 1000m and managed to pull some back over the subsequent laps and
finished just out side the qualifying group in 9th place.
Shanks, the New Zealander, rode off against Kalitovska and covered the
second 1000m in a second best time. She lost a little time over the
remaining laps but managed to quality 4th fastest.
Hammer, the American former World Champion, has struggled over the last 12
months with a lower back injury and has worked really hard to get to form in
time for the Olympics. She could only manage 5th fastest however
but it was enough to go into the next round.
set a steady pace over the first 1000m and gradually increased her speed to
qualify in the fastest time.
Katie Mactier was up last against Romero. Mactier set a blistering first
1000m but could not maintain her speed and ended up in 7th
top eight riders go through to the next round, of which the top 4 will
compete for the medals.
Results - Qualifying
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