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29th Olympic Games - JO
Beijing, China, August 9-23, 2008
Event 28 - August 18: Men's 4000m Team Pursuit Final
Foursome put the 'great' in Great Britain
The British pursuit team of Ed Clancy, Paul Manning, Geraint Thomas and Olympic and world champion Bradley Wiggins smashed their own world record by nearly two seconds to take the gold medal in the men's team pursuit finals on Monday. The previous mark of 3'55.202, set in round one, was eclipsed by a stunning 3'53.314 by the Brits in the evening's final.
"We didn't realise what kind of time we had. We thought we might beat the record, but not by three seconds," Wiggins said to AP. "We knew the gold wasn't ours by right and that we had to give our best performance."
Wiggins and Manning were part of the team which took bronze in Sydney and silver in Athens, and for Manning, finally getting a gold medal was first and foremost in his mind. "We gave 100 percent and that's what you get. To me the medal is more important than the record," said Manning.
The team pursuit gold is the ninth medal for the British in the Games, and the fourth gold.
The Danish team was powerless to stop the blue and white freight train which threatened to catch them in the closing laps, but only had to finish to take home that country's first track cycling medal since the 1992 Games in Barcelona. Casper Jørgensen, Jens-Erik Madsen, and Michael Faerk Christensen, who rode in the qualifying round, will exit the games with the silver, while Michael Mørkøv and Alex Rasmussen will continue on to the Madison in search of gold.
The bronze medal final was more dramatic, as the two Oceanic nations, New Zealand and Australia, battled neck and neck over the first two kilometres before the Kiwis slowly pulled away in the second half. Sam Bewley, Hayden Roulston, Marc Ryan and Jesse Sergeant worked perfectly together to maintain the winning pace. Luke Roberts and Graeme Brown, one half of the Australian squad which took gold in Athens four years ago, Jack Bobridge and Mark Jamieson faded out of the medal, conceding more than a second.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Casey Gibson/www.cbgphoto.com
Images by AFP Photo
Images by Rob Jones/www.canadiancyclist.com
Images by Greg Chang/PhotoSport International
1 Great Britain 3.53.314 (61.719 km/h *World Record) Ed Clancy Paul Manning Geraint Thomas Bradley Wiggins 2 Denmark 4.00.040 Michael Mørkøv Casper Jørgensen Jens-Erik Madsen Alex Nicki Rasmussen 3 New Zealand 3.57.776 (60.561 km/h) Sam Bewley Hayden Roulston Marc Ryan Jesse Sergent 4 Australia 3.59.006 Jack Bobridge Graeme Brown Mark Jamieson Luke Roberts