- Drug testing
Nothstein quickest in qualifying
US speed king, Marty Nothstein, set the fastest qualifying time in the men's sprint at the Dunc Gray Velodrome this morning. Nothstein, fourth last to start, rode 10.166 seconds, to average 70.8 km/h for the 200 metres. He went close to Gary Neiwand's Olympic record of 10.129 set at Atlanta in 1996, and will race against compatriot, Christian Marcelo Arrue in the first round.
In second place was 1999 world champion, Laurent Gane (France) with 10.243, with his teammate, Florian Rousseau in third (10.277). Clearly the French riders were not feeling the effects of last night's gold medal ride in the Olympic sprint, and the match sprint competition is set to be a hard fought battle.
"Qualifying first gives me tremendous confidence, but there is a long way to go. This is just qualifying and there are a lot of great riders here," said Nothstein, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist in the match sprint.
His agent, Eric Hall believes that Nothstein is on the top of his game. "He's flying right now. He looked really impressive out there," added Hall.
The Australians were represented by Sean Eadie and Darryn Hill in a surprise move, as Gary Neiwand was widely thought to ride in favour of Eadie. However, Sean put in a good ride to qualify eighth in 10.520, just beating Hill by 0.006 seconds.
Round one will see 18 of the 19 riders ride in matches against each other.
1 Marty Nothstein (USA) 10.166 (70.824 km/h) 2 Laurent Gane (Fra) 10.243 3 Florian Rousseau (Fra) 10.277 4 Jens Fiedler (Ger) 10.287 5 Viesturs Berzins (Lat) 10.343 6 Pavel Buran (Cze) 10.370 7 Craig Maclean (GBr) 10.459 8 Sean Eadie (Aus) 10.520 9 Darryn Hill (Aus) 10.526 10 Jan Lepka (Svk) 10.530 11 Jan Van Eijden (Ger) 10.540 12 Jose Villanueva (Spa) 10.556 13 Tomohiro Nagatsuka (Jpn) 10.595 14 Shinichi Ota (Jpn) 10.603 15 Anthony Peden (NZl) 10.649 16 Nikolaos Angelidis (Gre) 10.745 17 Julio Cesar Herrera (Cub) 10.893 18 Christian Arrue (USA) 10.903 19 Bartlomiej Saczuk (Pol) 11.106
Ballanger clear of her rivals
French sprinting star, Felicia Ballanger proved her excellent form again today by riding the fastest 200 metre time in the women's sprint qualifying. Ballanger, last to start, rode 11.262 to beat Russian Oxana Grichina (11.439) and Canada's Tanya Dubnicoff (11.494), with Australia's Michelle Ferris in fourth after a 11.512, 0.3 seconds slower than her Olympic record set in Atlanta.
The qualification only determines the matching order, as all 12 riders will progress to the next round. Ballanger will be up against Finnish Mira Kasslin who was the slowest qualifier, while Grichina will face Fiona Ramage (NZl). There are six sets of two (three if required) matches for the next round this evening.
1 Felicia Ballanger (Fra) 11.262 (63.932 km/h) 2 Oxana Grichina (Rus) 11.439 3 Tanya Dubnicoff (Can) 11.494 4 Michelle Ferris (Aus) 11.512 5 Daniella Larreal (Ven) 11.526 6 Szylvia Szabolsci (Hun) 11.545 7 Iryna Yanovich (Ukr) 11.548 8 Tanya Lindenmuth (USA) 11.649 9 Yan Wang (Chn) 11.650 10 Kathrin Freitag (Ger) 11.792 11 Fiona Ramage (NZl) 11.803 12 Mira Kasslin (Fin) 12.194
Great Britain break another Olympic record
The final event of the Monday morning session at the Dunc Gray Velodrome was the men's 4000 m team pursuit qualifying. Once more, Great Britain proved that they were not a team to be underestimated, riding 4:04.030 (59.01 km/h) to qualify fastest and set a new Olympic record in the process. The team of Paul Manning, Chris Newton, Bryan Steel and Brad Wiggins were quicker than the always impressive Ukrainians by just 0.048 seconds, and they looked incredibly smooth in doing so.
In third place was the French team, who rode well to record 4:05.155, while the German team finished in fourth in 4:05.750. The latter were on track to win, starting well and riding sub-one minute kilometres during the second and third. However, in the fourth kilometre they lost a rider and fell away towards the end. They did not start with Robert Bartko, their gold medallist and record holder from last night.
Australia and New Zealand were the next two teams to qualify, doing so in 4:06.361 and 4:08.463 respectively. Both teams were given huge support by the crowd and Australia will meet Germany in this evening's quarter finals, while the Kiwis will meet France.
The biggest disappointments were the Russian team (Karpets, Markov, Smyslov and Borisov) who only managed 4:09.950 to qualify 8th, just behind the Dutch. They will face Great Britain in the quarters, while the Dutch will ride against the Ukraine.
Italy did not put in a good ride either, finishing 11th out of 12 teams. They are surely missing Andrea Collinelli and Mauro Trentini who were excluded from the team two weeks ago after failing a drugs test.
1 Great Britain 4.04.030 (59.009 km/h) OR 2 Ukraine 4.04.078 3 France 4.05.155 4 Germany 4.05.750 5 Australia 4.06.361 6 New Zealand 4.08.463 8 Nederlands 4.09.590 7 Russia 4.09.910 9 Argentina 4.10.490 10 USA 4.12.494 11 Italy 4.15.451 12 Spain 4.15.547