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Games of the 30th Olympiad, London 2012 

 

 

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Previous coverage of the Olympics  >>  2012   2008    2004  

      

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Track Day 1 - German gold, China relegated to silver, Australia bronze.

London 2012, Velodrome

Race Writeup

Final

Germany won the Team Sprint but only after China was relegated. The relegations opened the door for Germany to claim gold and altered the medals table in the inaugural women's team sprint Olympic debut, with China being disqualified from gold.

Germany were awarded gold after judges ruled that China made an illegal relay in the gold-medal race. Chinese rider Shuang Guo nearly collapsed when she was told of the decision.  China set a new world record in qualifying (32.422) and they were almost certain of Gold. The commissaries, looked long and hard at the video and made the same ruling as the British. Australia beat Ukraine to claim bronze in a calm and technically perfect race..

Kristina Vogel (GER) on learning of China's relegation to earn gold, "We really could not believe it when we saw it on the screen that we were Olympic champions. It's amazing. It's weird and amazing."

Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch (AUS) after winning bronze in the women's team sprint, Meares reflected on the performance of her teammate during the race, "I am so proud of Kaarle because this is her first Games. She is under a lot of pressure and to pick up a bronze in her first event, I was really pleased I was out there with her."

McCulloch was all smiles but there was a hint of disappointment, "It's pretty damn good. We came here with gold in our eyes, and we got bronze. It's my first Olympic Games and I couldn't be happier."

On her performance: "I have to admit I didn't perform at the best of my abilities. It's unfortunate because I was in the best shape of my life. I'm pretty disappointed I let the team down but to get a bronze medal is still fantastic."

On riding against Great Britain in qualifying: "I pretended the crowd was cheering for us. You have to turn it around."

On the Great Britain team being relegated to eighth place in round one, Meares added, "We probably benefited a little bit from the British being disqualified. I can only imagine how devastating that was for them. It was bittersweet for Kaarle and I."

On the keirin competion tomorrow (Friday): "I am looking forward to it. I think tonight is going to make tomorrow unbelievably intense. The worst thing you can do is add emotion to a bunch of sprinters they can use it as motivation. Vicki (Pendleton, GBR) is going to be there looking for the win. I am going to be there looking for the win and also the Germans are running on an high (after winning gold in the team sprint)."

On Pendleton's state of mind after being relegated, "I don't think she is wounded she will be absolutely livid. That can be used as a motivation."

Yvonne Hijgenaar and Willy Kanis (NED) spoke after finishing in fourth place in the women's team sprint. Hijgennar sai, "Our feelings are ambivalent. We rode a very good race. We should have won bronze. At the Olympics anything is possible. We were very close to Australia."

On being her last race together, "It is probably our last race together." Kanis said, "This is very frustrating but that is sport. Our race was perfect. We should have ridden for bronze and we had a chance to get the bronze. It's a shit system."

On whether it is her last race with Hijgenaar, Kanis added, "Yes probably so, but I will probably go on racing after this."

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Position Name Team Time km/hr
Gold VOGEL Kristina Germany 32.798 54.881
WELTE Miriam Germany
Silver GONG Jinjie China REL
GUO Shuang China
Bronze McCULLOCH Kaarle Australia 32.727 55
MEARES Anna Australia
4 SHULIKA Lyubov Ukraine 33.491 53.745
TSYOS Olena Ukraine
5 KANIS Willy Netherlands
HIJGENAAR Yvonne Netherlands
6 CLAIR Sandie France
CUEFF Virginie France
7 LARREAL Daniela Grelui Venezuela
VILERA Mariaesthela Venezuela
8 PENDLETON Victoria Great Britain
VARNISH Jessica Great Britain
9 LEE Eun Ji Korea
LEE Hyejin Korea
10 GARCIA ORREGO Diana Maria Colombia
GAVIRIA RENDON Juliana Colombia

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Round 1

Drama in the semi-final resulted in the British pair being disqualified. Pendleton who was one of the quickest riders on the track, passed Varnish before she had completed her first lap. 

Before the disqualification, Britain would have been riding off for Gold against China who set a new  World and Olympic record of 32.422 seconds. Germany were promoted into the gold/silver ride. 

Chasing Bronze, Australia ride off against Ukraine.

Results  

Round 1
Position Name Team Time km/hr Qualified
1 McCULLOCH Kaarle Australia 32.806 54.868 Bronze
MEARES Anna Australia
2 HIJGENAAR Yvonne Netherlands 33.090 54.397
KANIS Willy Netherlands
1 VOGEL Kristina Germany 32.701 55.044 Gold/silver
WELTE Miriam Germany
2 CLAIR Sandie France 33.707 53.401
CUEFF Virginie France
DQL PENDLETON Victoria Great Britain
VARNISH Jessica Great Britain
1 SHULIKA Lyubov Ukraine 33.620 53.539 Bronze
TSYOS Olena Ukraine
1 GONG Jinjie China 33.422 55.517 WR - Gold/silver
GUO Shuang China
2 LARREAL Daniela Grelui Venezuela 34.415 52.302
VILERA Mariaesthela Venezuela

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Comments

Vicki Pendleton (GRB) was of course disappointed with the result. "I think we were a little overwhelmed by the whole situation. I just went too fast. It's just one of those things that happen. It happens in a blink of a eye," Pendleton said. "You have to stick by the rules, and unfortunately we were on the wrong side today. Obviously we are disappointed, we are in great form. My sprints were by far the fastest in my life so far. I am really sorry for disappointing all of the supporters," she said. "It's encouraging, because it shows my form is really good, because that is by far the fastest lap I've ridden. When you're going at that speed, it's really hard to know where the change comes."," added Pendelton. "Jessica is holding it together better than I am. I am devastated," Pendleton said. "It was one of those things. Unfortunately Jess got caught in the start. Jess has done an incredible job and I am sure she is going to go to Rio (2016 Olympic Games) and smash it."

Team Sprint Qualifying

A packed velodrome saw two world records fall in the opening event of the track programme. Ten teams rode off for eight places in the semi-finals. 

Opening the competition were the Koreans and the Venzuelian team. They looked noticeably nervous as the stepped out onto the track. Next to ride were the Ukrainians and the Columbians. Ukraine set a time of 33.708, it wasn't close to the world record. 

The Netherlands and France started next. The Dutch pair of Willy Kanis and Yvonne Hijgenaar set a time of 33.253 seonds. Again this was not close to the world record.

The crowd was extremely noisy when the next group started. Great Britain and Australia were up on the track. Anna Meares led the Australians off an set a blistering pace of 18.468 seconds  for the first lap. Kaarle McCulloch was second. In the British team, Jess Varnish led out. She handed over to Vicki Pendleton and the pair broke the World Record. They set a time of 32.526 second taking .23 s off the current record.

In the final pair, Germany (Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte) who until, the British ride were the WR holders were up against the Chinese (Shuang Guo and Jinjie Gong). Gong the fastest starter, set Guo up perfectly for them to break the WR again. They finished and set a new  World and Olympic record 32.447 seconds.

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Results

Position Name Team Time km/hr
1 GONG Jinjie China 32.447 55.475
GUO Shuang China
2 PENDLETON Victoria Great Britain 32.526 55.34
VARNISH Jessica Great Britain
3 VOGEL Kristina Germany 32.63 55.163
WELTE Miriam Germany
4 McCULLOCH Kaarle Australia 32.825 54.836
MEARES Anna Australia
5 HIJGENAAR Yvonne Netherlands 33.253 54.13
KANIS Willy Netherlands
6 CLAIR Sandie France 33.638 53.51
CUEFF Virginie France
7 SHULIKA Lyubov Ukraine 33.708 53.399
TSYOS Olena Ukraine
8 LARREAL Daniela Grelui Venezuela 34.32 52.447
VILERA Mariaesthela Venezuela
9 LEE Eun Ji Korea 34.636 51.969
LEE Hyejin Korea
10 GARCIA ORREGO Diana Maria Colombia 34.87 51.62
GAVIRIA RENDON Juliana Colombia

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

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