Britain’s Victoria Pendleton, Men’s Team Win Cycling Gold Medals
Britain’s Victoria Pendleton won track-cycling gold in the women’s keirin and the nation’s men’s team took the 4,000-meter pursuit in world-record time.
It was a second Olympic gold medal for Pendleton, who beat China’s Guo Shuang, with Lee Wai-Sze of Hong Kong third.
Pendleton was demoted in the women’s team sprint yesterday for a rule infringement and will defend her individual sprint title Aug. 7.
“It definitely makes up for yesterday, I’m delighted,” Pendleton said. “I’m very glad to be retiring. It still goes through my mind ‘Why do I put myself through this?' I didn’t want to be stuck behind those girls, it was definitely a day to take it on, and when there was an opportunity I took it.”
Pendleton started in the outside lane and was fourth as the derny, a pace-setting motorbike, left the track at the Velodrome in London. Australia’s Anna Meares, the reigning world champion, had led the race before falling back and finishing fifth.
Pendleton, 31, wept on the podium as she sang the national anthem. She won gold in the women’s sprint at the Beijing games in 2008.
The keirin is a race in which riders follow a motorbike that gradually picks up speed to 45 kilometers (28 miles) an hour, then drops out with 600 meters remaining as the cyclists race to the end.
Earlier today, the British men’s quartet of Edward Clancy, 27; Geraint Thomas, 26; Steven Burke, 24, and Peter Kennaugh, 23, crossed the line in 3 minutes, 51.659 seconds in the team pursuit. Australia got silver and New Zealand won bronze.
“I never felt under pressure from the Aussies, we were so comfortable,” Kennaugh said after the medal ceremony. “They were at the limit and we were comfortable.”
The Britons, who are the defending Olympic and world champions, did a lap of honor in front of a crowd that included Bradley Wiggins, the first Briton to win the Tour de France.
The previous record of 3:52.499 was set by Britain yesterday.
“Geraint had a good dose of food poisoning about a week ago and was pretty off form. If he was on his ‘A’ game we would have gone quicker,” Clancy said. “British cycling is about the Olympics, we wanted to peak here. It’s all come good. The Aussies have pushed us to do that 51 today and good on them.”
Russian track cyclist Victoria Baranova, who was due to compete in the women’s sprint, tested positive for testosterone and has been sent home, Union Cycliste Internationale spokesman Enrico Carpani said in a telephone interview.
The test was conducted in Belarus on July 24 and Baranova returned home yesterday morning, Carpani said.
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