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British Queen celebrates


Great Britain can match its incredible track cycling haul from London four years ago, according to Joanna Rowsell-Shand, a member of the record-breaking women’s pursuit team in the Olympic velodrome.

The British women set three world records over two days to retain their Olympic crown and claim Britain’s third cycling gold medal in Rio.

Britain already has the titles for the men’s team sprint and men’s team pursuit — also in a world record time.

On Saturday, Becky James won silver in the women’s keirin while reigning champion Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner qualified for the men’s sprint final, guaranteeing Britain gold and silver on Sunday.

Four years ago and in Beijing 2008, Britain won seven of the 10 Olympic disciplines.



“So far it’s looking on to match or beat it,” said Rowsell-Shand after picking up her medal alongside Laura Trott, Katie Archibald, and Elinor Barker.

“The men’s team sprint and men’s team pursuit are massive inspirations to us. To see those in the first two days, to see the times with Olympic and world records tumbling down — that was great.

“When you’ve trained with people, been on the holding camps together and seen all the work they’ve put in, you’ve seen that come off.

“You know when the team is going well you have more confidence in yourself, as well that the training for the group’s been working, the whole strategy, the whole taper and everything.

“So that was a good inspiration. Becky’s just got a medal — it’s all looking really good.

“We’ve got Laura [Trott] in the omnium, she’s the world champion, she’ll be the favorite for that one as well, without wanting to put too much pressure on her.

“But she’s got good form so fingers crossed for a top result from her there.”


China won the women’s team sprint on Friday and Elis Ligtlee of the Netherlands pipped James in the keirin, but otherwise it has been another demonstration of British track dominance, a sight that has become increasingly common in recent years despite the team failing to win a single gold medal at the 2015 world championships.

Success is breeding confidence in the British camp.

“It’s pretty amazing, I’m buzzing off it at the moment,” said James.

“It’s really helped seeing everyone else win gold medals. It really helped and motivated me to come away with a medal too.”

There may not have been medals handed out in the men’s sprint on Saturday but Britain dominated anyway, with Kenny and Skinner storming into the final.

They were the two fastest qualifiers on Friday and although world champion Kenny had a blip in his Saturday semifinal, losing the first of three legs to Russian Denis Dmitriev, he dominated the next two. Skinner, who won team sprint gold on Thursday alongside Kenny and Philip Hindes, breezed through against Matthew Glaetzer of Australia.

Britain have won three of five events so far with another gold guaranteed in the men’s sprint.

It would be a tall order to win three or even all four of the other disciplines, but Kenny and Skinner will be amongst the favorites in the men’s keirin, Trott is world champion in the women’s omnium and James, on pure speed alone, looks a good bet for women’s sprint success.

That leaves the men’s omnium in which professional sprint star Mark Cavendish is riding.

Cavendish has made a last-gasp return to the track to try to win the Olympic medal missing from his impressive achievements.

He was sixth at the World Championships in March but he has the ability and in the current climate, everything Britain does on the track seems to be turning to gold. afp