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Semi finals see another world record
The Ukraine men's 4,000 metre pursuit team (Oleksandr Symonenko, Sergiy Chernyavskyy, Oleksandr Fedenko, Sergiy Matveyev) set another world record at the Dunc Gray velodrome after they beat Great Britain in the first semi-final. The Ukranians rode 4.00.830 to beat the old 1996 record (4.00.958) set by the Italian team in 1996 in Manchester. Tonight's record however was set in a 'conventional rather than the banned superman position.
After riding the first kilometre in 1.04.068, the Ukraines took 58.438 seconds for the second kilometre, their fastest. They were well up on Great Britain at this point and just had to maintain their advantage to make the finals. Britain rode slightly faster in the final kilometre but it was not enough to catch the flying Ukraines.
Both teams did not lose riders, and were quite smooth - the Ukrainans were just faster.
The second semi was, as expected, a one sided affair with Germany steamrollering France in 4.05.930 compared with 4.11.549. The Germans looked as good as the Ukraines, and even started faster than them before backing right off in the final kilometre. The final later this evening could well see the 4 minute mark fall.
Heat 1 Ukraine 4.00.834 (59.79 km/h) WR (Oleksandr Symonenko, Sergiy Chernyavskyy, Oleksandr Fedenko, Sergiy Matveyev) defeated Great Britain 4.02.387 (Paul Manning, Bryan Steel, Chris Newton, Bradley Wiggins) Heat 2 Germany 4.05.930 (58.55 km/h) (Robert Bartko, Daniel Becke, Jens Lehmann, Guido Fulst) defeated France 4.11.549 (Cyril Bos, Phillippe Ermenault, Francis Moreau, Jerome Neuville)
Finals - 4 minute barrier broken
The finals saw another world record with the 4 minute barrier broken for the first time in history. However, it was not the Ukranian team who did it, rather the powerful Germans who so easily rode 4.05 in their semi. The German team of Robert Bartko, Daniel Becke, Jens Lehmann, and Guido Fulst rode 3.59.781 to become the first team pursuit squad to average over 60 kilometres per hour in the event.
Ukraine were significantly off the pace (4.04.520) and Germany could see them in the same straight at the finish. The splits for the Germans for each kilometre were as follows: 1.04.162, 2.02.301, 3.00.850 and 3.59.710, as Bartko did long turns of pace to lift the team. All four riders finished together, although the time was taken on the third rider across the line.
The new sub-four minute record was cheered by the vocal (and large) crowd for a some time as the Germans enjoyed their triumph. It was a significant mark, equivalent to the four minute mile in running and this German team will be remembered for some time.
The race for the bronze saw Great Britain record an excellent personal best time (4.01.979) to beat France by four seconds. Great Britain were impressive throughout the team's pursuit tournament and deserved the medal. Unfortunately, they had to be be over two seconds quicker to win gold.
Ride for Bronze Great Britain 4.01.979 (59.51 km/h) WR (Paul Manning, Bryan Steel, Chris Newton, Bradley Wiggins) defeated France 4.05.991 (Cyril Bos, Phillippe Ermenault, Francis Moreau, Jerome Neuville) Ride for Gold and Silver Germany 3.59.781 (60.06 km/h) WR (Robert Bartko, Daniel Becke, Jens Lehmann, Guido Fulst) defeated Ukraine 4.04.520 (Oleksandr Symonenko, Sergiy Chernyavskyy, Oleksandr Fedenko, Sergiy Matveyev)
Quarter finals follow form
The sprint competition had just one session of events tonight, with the quarter finals in both the men's and women's categories. In the men's, there were no big upsets with all riders defeating their opponents in straight heats without a great deal of difficulty.
Marty Nothstein (USA), Laurent Gane (Fra), Florian Rousseau (Fra) and Jens Fiedler (Ger) were the victors, with Fiedler looking very comfortable in defeating his compatriot Van Eijden. Nothstein was given a warning in his first match against Craig Maclean, but was not DQ'd and went on to record successive victories. The first semi tomorrow night will be between Nothstein and Fiedler, and it should be a great match up.
World Champion, Laurent Gane was never put in difficulty by Australian Sean Eadie, although the latter tried a long lead out in the second match. Florian Rousseau (Fra) beat Spaniard Jose Villanueva, and will face Gane in the semi-final.
Heat 1 Marty Nothstein (USA) 10.888 10.973 defeated Craig Maclean (GBr) Heat 2 Laurent Gane (Fra) 10.648 10.833 defeated Sean Eadie (Aus) Heat 3 Florian Rousseau (Fra) 10.744 10.781 defeated Jose Villanueva (Spa) Heat 4 Jens Fiedler (Ger) 10.966 10.904 defeated Jan Van Eijden (Ger)
Pavel Buran (Cze) 11.078 Viesturs Berzins (Lat) Christian Marcelo Arrue (USA) DNS Darryn Hill (Aus
Ballanger through, others struggle
French world champion, Felicia Ballanger advanced to the semi-finals in the women's sprint after she defeated the USA's Tanya Lindenmuth in successive rounds. Although she says that it is never easy, she made it look like it as she used her superior speed to come around the American.
Russian Oxana Grichina beat Hungarian Szilvia Szabolcsi in her two matches quite comfortably as well, but there was an upset when Canadian Tanya Dubnicoff was defeated by Iryna Yanovych of the Ukraine. Dubnicoff was the third fastest qualifier, while Yanovych was seventh, and it was widely expected that the experienced Canadian would go through. Yanovych had other ideas and pushed Dubnicoff all the way, just beating her on the line each time.
The final match was between Australian Michelle Ferris and Venezualan Daniela Larreal. Ferris was predicted to win, and she eventually did but not without some hiccups. She won her first match, but was later disqualified for pushing her opponent up. She came out and won the second heat comfortably, but was defeated by Larreal in the final. However, it was Larreal's turn to be DQ'd after going underneath Ferris onto the duckboards, and Ferris advanced to the semi-final.
Tomorrow will see Ferris versus Ballanger, and Grichina against Yanovych.
Heat 1 Felicia Ballanger (Fra) 11.772 12.060 defeated Tanya Lindenmuth (USA) Heat 2 Oxana Grichina (Rus) 12.545 12.885 defeated Szilvia Noemi Szabolcsi (Hun) Heat 3 Iryna Yanovych (Ukr) 12.048 11.946 defeated Tanya Dubnicoff (Can) Heat 4 Michelle Ferris (Aus) DSQ 11.705 defeated Daniela Larreal (Ven) DSQ
Gold Silver Bronze Total Germany 2 2 0 4 France 2 1 0 3 Great Britain 1 1 2 4 Netherlands 1 0 0 1 Australia 0 1 3 4 Ukraine 0 1 0 1 China 0 0 1 1