Tokyo Olympics: Great Britain women and men progress in team pursuit

Germany smash world record as GB finish second fastest in team pursuit
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
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Great Britain progressed in the women’s and men’s team pursuit as the track cycling got under way at Tokyo 2020.

Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Josie Knight finished as second fastest qualifiers behind Germany, who set a new world record.

Their time of 4:07.307 was almost three seconds quicker than the previous record, set by GB when they won Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

Team GB’s men were fourth fastest in men’s qualifying with 3:47.507.

That was Britain’s fastest ever time in the team pursuit but Ed Clancy, Ollie Wood, Ethan Hayter and Ethan Vernon faced a nervous wait to see if they would remain in contention for the gold medal race after Australia were allowed a re-run following a crash.

Alex Porter’s handlebars fell off, sending him crashing head first on to the track during their initial qualifying attempt.

Tokyo Olympics: Australia’s Alex Porter crashes after handlebars fall off

They were allowed a second attempt but had to wait until after the women’s team sprint finals – won by China – concluded.

The Australians finished with the fifth-fastest time, meaning Great Britain – Olympic champions at the last three Games – will take on world record holders Denmark for a shot at the gold medal.

Denmark set a new Olympic record of 3:45.014 to finish as the fastest qualifiers.

GB women – the two-time defending Olympic champions in the event – will face the United States in the next round on Tuesday for a place in the gold medal final.

“We’re happy with the time, not the result,” said Archibald. “We thought we’d be just on the long side of what the Germans did and we just found out we didn’t have it in that last kilometre.”

Knight, making her Olympic debut, added: “I was incredibly nervous – I’m with three defending Olympic champions. We gave a good ride, but I think we’ve got more in the tank.”

GB men progress in team pursuit after finishing fourth fastest

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