Great Britain win Rio 2016 men's team pursuit in world record time

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Great Britain win Rio 2016 men’s team pursuit in world record time

Sir Bradley Wiggins wins eighth Olympic medal; Ed Clancy claims third consecutive team pursuit gold; Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner through in men's sprint

Bradley Wiggins became Great Britain’s most decorated Olympian as the men’s team pursuit quartet twice smashed their own world record on their way to gold on the second night of track cycling at Rio 2016.

And Wiggins was not the only one of the quartet making history in the Rio velodrome – with victory seeing Ed Clancy become the first ever cyclist to win the team pursuit at three consecutive Olympic Games.

Wiggins, Clancy, Steven Burke and Owain Doull set a new world record of 3.50.570 in the semi-final to set up a race for the gold medal with Australia and came from behind in the final to win gold in a time of 3.50.265.

Great Britain won the men’s team pursuit in world record time in a thrilling gold medal final (pic: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

It capped another great day for the Brits on the track, which also saw Jason Kenny breaking the Olympic record as he progressed in the men’s sprint.

Fellow Brit Callum Skinner was first to break the Olympic record, but he held it for just a few minutes before Kenny clocked 9.551 in his flying lap.

Both men then progressed through the match sprints to reach the last eight, as Kenny’s hopes of his own fifth Olympic gold medal remain on course.

In the team pursuit, Australia snuck into the final in the first heat – having qualified slower of the two, the Aussies trailed Denmark through much of their heat.

Denmark still held an advantage going into the final lap, with both teams down to three riders, but the Danes’ final two riders lost contact and it proved costly.

While the front rider finished first, the crucial third man was behind his Australian counterpart as they Antipodeans narrowly reached the final.

Great Britain were far more convincing though, changing their tactics from the day before when they appeared to start a little too quickly.

They led from the front in terms of qualification for the final and, in fact, were rapidly closing in on the New Zealand team before Wiggins swung off after a big turn.

Unlike the previous night, however, where Wiggins had slowed slightly before swinging off, the quartet had paced it to perfection with Burke, Clancy and Doull stopping the clock in 3.50.570.

As the team pursuit quartets prepared for their final, the British sprinters continued their fine form from the night before.

Callum Skinner set a new Olympic record in his heat, of 9.703 with Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer the only man to come close – just 0.001 seconds separating the two – until Kenny’s ride.

The now four-time Olympic gold medallist showed the form which won him the gold medal at this year’s World Championships by stopping the clock in 9.551.

Both Brits then got through their first match sprints in comfortable fashion – Kenny coming from the back to beat Max Levy and Skinner beating Patrick Constable having led the sprint out.

Attention then turned back to the team pursuit – Denmark taking the bronze medal ahead of New Zealand before Great Britain took on Australia.

Australia took the early lead – Alex Edmondson setting the tempo faster than Clancy did for Britain after a slight wobble for the Yorkshireman, and the gap held at 0.6 seconds up to the halfway mark as both teams rode quicker than world record pace.

The Brits had clawed it back with six laps to go, however, as Australia lost their first man and the with 500m – two laps – remaining, the man advantage had told as Britain finally edged in front.

The last two laps were messy for both teams – both missing a change as a small gap appeared at the back – but Britain fought hard to better their world record again, with a time of 3.50.265.

Sir Bradley Wiggins has now won eight Olympic medals – more than any other British athlete (pic: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

The other event taking place on the night was the women’s team sprint – the one event the Brits have failed to qualify for.

China – relegated in the final in London four years ago – took the gold medal, with Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi breaking the world record in qualifying.

Their time of 31.928 qualified the pair for the gold medal match, and they beat Russia in the final; Germany taking bronze at Australia’s expense.

Rio 2016 Olympic Games: men’s team pursuit – result

1) Great Britain – 3.50.265 – world record
2) Australia
3) Denmark
4) New Zealand

Rio 2016 Olympic Games: women’s team sprint – result

1) China – (broke world record in qualifying in time of 31.928)
2) Russia
3) Germany
4) Australia

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