Salem Radio Network News Saturday, September 18, 2021

Sports

Olympics-Cycling-Germany dethrone Britain to win women’s team pursuit

By Martyn Herman

TOKYO (Reuters) – Germany dethroned Britain’s women as queens of the Olympic track team pursuit in sensational fashion with a third world record in two days giving them an emphatic victory on Tuesday.

The quartet of Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein and Mieke Kroeger almost caught Britain in the 4km final at the Izu Velodrome, stopping the clock at 4:04.242.

Incredibly that was six seconds faster than the time Britain recorded to win a second successive Olympic gold medal in the women’s discipline, added to the programme at London 2012.

Britain’s world record had endured until Monday when Germany obliterated it in the qualifying rounds.

In Tuesday’s medal heats Britain, powered by four-time Olympic gold-medallist Laura Trott, responded in thrilling fashion to edge out the United States in 4:06.748 to put themselves into the gold-medal ride.

Minutes later Germany raised the bar again as they crushed Italy in their heat in 4:06.159 — setting up what looked set to be a sizzling showdown on the Izu boards.

But almost from the first lap of the final Germany’s fearsome foursome began to build an advantage and never relented as they steamed around the oval in perfect unison.

Their victory ended Kenny’s 100% record at Olympic events, having previously won all four she had entered.

“Germany took everyone by surprise. We knew they were going to go fast, just not that fast,” Kenny, who could still add to her golden haul in the Madison and omnium, said.

Should Kenny win one of those events later this week she would surpass Dutchwoman Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel as the most successful female cyclist in Olympics history.

The United States, who Britain had beaten in the final in the two previous Olympics, took the bronze medal.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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