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- Drug testing
Olympic news for September 17
Second day - records tumble
A total of three records were broken this evening at the Dunc Gray velodrome with the crowd at the second session of track racing seeing records for both the Men's and Women's Individual Pursuits falling.
The major destroyer was Holland's Leontien Zjilaard-Van Moorsel who continued her brilliant year with a new Olympic Record set in her qualifying heat, and then taking away Marion Clignet's world record in the semi-final, setting up what will be a cracking final with the Frenchwoman tomorrow evening.
In the Men's Individual Pursuit, German rider Robert Bartko broke the Olympic Record in his final where he defeated countryman Jen Lehmann, while Australia's Bradley McGee put his broken collarbone from only 10 days ago well behind him to secure the bronze in his race against Great Britain's Rob Hayles.
The French attoned
for the previous evening by taking out the inaugural Olympic Sprint, with
Great Britain the silver and another bronze for Australia.
First day wrap up
Two finals and one semi-final were decided on the first day of competition after an interesting start to the cycling events in Sydney. First up was the men's 4000 metre individual pursuit, with Roberto Bartko of Germany setting a new Olympic Record of 4.18.976 - the fastest ever in a "conventional" position. He faced Australian hope Brad McGee in the semifinal, eventually beating him after a close battle. Bartko's compatriot, Jens Lehmann will ride against him in the final after he accounted for Briton Rob Hayles in his semi. So, it will be a gold and silver for Germany at the Dunc Gray Velodrome tonight, with Bartko the clear favourite. The ride for the bronze will be a good battle though, as McGee used more reserves in his semi than did Hayles. However, the Australian will surely be spurred along by the rather vocal crowd.
In the first final of the night, Frenchwoman Felicia Ballanger blew away the opposition to ride 34.140 in the women's 500 metre time trial - an Olympic record as this is the first time the event has featured in the Games. The silver medal went to Australia's Michelle Ferris who expressed great delight at riding a personal best (34.696) to finish in front of China's Jiang Cuihua.
Afterwards, Ballanger said that she would be reconsidering her previously announced retirement after the Games. "There were two reasons for my decision to stop, one professional and one private, and both no longer exist, so we will see," she told Reuters.
Ballanger is still 29, and clearly has several more years at the top if she so desires.
Finally there was the men's kilometre time trial, which ended in double disappointment, as well as am excellent win to Great Britain's Jason Queally. Queally rode 1:01.609, the fourth last rider to start. He then waited as Stefan Nimke failed, then Shane Kelly, and finally Arnaud Tournant and was jubilant at the finish.
Both the last two riders were up on Queally at the halfway, but faded in the finish to give Great Britain its first gold medal of the Games.
Tournant said that he was in good shape coming into the event, and has certainly ridden well all year, but couldn't get it right on the night. He did admit to using a slightly bigger gear and this might have hurt him on the last lap. His next goal will be to try and help his teammates win the Olympic Sprint, the final of which is today. The French Olympic sprint team is Florian Rousseau and Laurent Gane.
Marco Pantani has been surrounded by controversy in the past two weeks as the Pirate has been blood tested 10 times (he claims) for any signs of a rising hematocrit. Several Italian newspapers have been publishing comments from other members of the Italian team in regard to Pantani.
Silvio Martinello was one who made comment, but the words were not intended to besmirch Pantani. "I have never said that he should remain at home. My words have been taken beyond their meaning. ...I was talking about the CONI documents relating to Pantani that clearly say what the situation is," said Martinello.
"I would wish that the same standards are used to pick all members of the team. If there are athletes who are positive, then they must be treated in a similar way to Collinelli and Trentini," he added.
Olympians at Heffron
Two female Olympic cyclists (Deirdre Murphy of Ireland and Susy Pryde of New Zealand) took advantage of the invitation to race at Heffron Park on Saturday afternoon, September 16.
"Both enjoyed their race immensely and gave the guys a bit of hurry up," said the club report.
The offer still stands and there has been more interest from male Olympians eager to keep their cornering and general racing skills razor sharp. The next race will be Saturday, September 23. The Randwick Botany club's website can be found on our Club Information page.
In addition, there is an 6:00 am training bunch organised by Martin Renwick departing from Lateria, Victoria Street, Darlinghurst (next to the Coluzzi Bar). The route is around the Olympic circuit. In addition, a "steady rollover group" forms in Centennial Park on Wednesdays 5:00pm. For more questions, ring Martin on 0407-492 518.