Shizuoka (Japon) (AFP)
Germany and the Netherlands both won gold at the velodrome on Tuesday as landslide victories over Britain finally marked the end of British rule in the sport.
The Germans broke the world record for the third time in two days to beat Great Britain by more than six seconds in the women’s team pursuit final.
The British team were more than three seconds behind in the men’s team sprint final, as the Netherlands moved on to victory.
“To win the gold medal with a world record is just amazing,” said Germany’s Mieke Kroeger. “It’s every athlete’s dream. “
The Netherlands arrived as three-time world champions in the men’s team sprint. Their gold medal is their first in men’s track cycling since 1936.
“We always take the British team very seriously,” said Roy van den Berg. “But we have proven that we have our own dominance in recent years. Showing it here at the Olympics is amazing. “
Two silver medals are still a decent comeback for Britain, but they are below their previous high standards.
Great Britain had won the last three Olympic gold medals in the men’s team sprint and the previous two in the women’s team pursuit.
Their disappointment was intensified by an extraordinary crash in the men’s team round against Denmark, with the Danes claiming victory despite Frederik Madsen’s shock to the back of Briton Charlie Tanfield.
“I was so tired, I didn’t know if Charlie was 10 or 20 yards away. I couldn’t react, ”Madsen said. “It’s horrible that this is happening in an Olympic semi-final. “
Denmark were on the verge of a clear victory as the crash came as Madsen was about to overtake a tiring Tanfield, who had been abandoned by the late British team.
– Britain complains about Danish clothes –
But Britain believed Denmark should have been disqualified for the collision, having already complained on Monday about the Danes wearing illegal clothing, including duct tape on legs and under jackets, to reduce drag .
Instead, Denmark went unpunished for the clothes while Madsen was believed to have caught Tanfield.
Denmark will advance to Wednesday’s final against Italy while Great Britain qualified for seventh place against Switzerland.
“I think he caused an opponent to crash,” said UK coach Iain Dyer. “We feel quite disappointed with the UCI. “
On the illegal strip and the undershirts, UK Cycling Performance Director Stephen Park said: “Do I think they should be disqualified? I don’t think there is any alternative.
“The rules are clear. They say you can’t apply something to the skin. They put something on the skin. “
Great Britain has no complaints with Germany, who twice broke the women’s team pursuit world record in less than two hours, having already set a new world record in the heats on Monday.
The German quartet of Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein and Kroeger clocked 4:04:24 in the final, below their previous time of 4: 06.159 and streets ahead of the Briton 4: 10.607 in the final.
The victory ended Britain’s hopes for a third straight gold medal as Laura Kenny’s remarkable streak of gold wins in every Olympic event she had competed in was shattered. Kenny had already won the team pursuit and the omnium in 2012 and 2016.
The Americans clinched a bronze medal, their time of 4: 08.040 enough to beat Canada.
The Netherlands were almost as adamant in the men’s team sprint as Van den Berg, Harrie Lavreysen and Jeffrey Hoogland set a new Olympic record of 41.369 seconds to destroy Great Britain, who clocked 44.589. France won bronze.
A silver medal meant Britain’s Jason Kenny made history, becoming the first athlete to win eight Olympic track cycling medals, edging compatriots Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins, who both won seven.
“It’s good, it’s special. I limped over the line with a silver medal, ”said Kenny. “I know this will annoy Chris, he’s probably going to make a comeback now!” The Games get more and more difficult each time. “
As to whether this is the end of an era for Britain on the track, Kenny said: “We have two silver medals. We weren’t good enough today and now have three years to get back to the good side of that fine line again. “
© 2021 AFP