Wiggins earns pursuit gold

Britain's Bradley Wiggins of Britain successfully defended his Olympic crown when he won the individual pursuit track cycling gold in Beijing on Saturday. New Zealand's Hayden Roulston took silver with Britain's Steven Burke winning the bronze medal. American Taylor Phinney missed a spot in the medal rounds, riding 4:26.6 in Round 1. The 27-year-old Wiggins clocked a time of 4:16.5 in Round 1 to secure his place in the final against the New Zealander, who finished in 4:19.2.

By Agence France Presse

Wiggins defends his pursuit gold.

Wiggins defends his pursuit gold.

Photo: Agence France Presse

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins of Britain successfully defended his Olympic crown when he won the individual pursuit track cycling gold in Beijing on Saturday.

New Zealand’s Hayden Roulston took silver with Britain’s Steven Burke winning the bronze medal.

American Taylor Phinney missed a spot in the medal rounds, riding 4:26.6 in Round 1.

The 27-year-old Wiggins clocked a time of 4:16.5 in Round 1 to secure his place in the final against the New Zealander, who finished in 4:19.2.

Another Briton, Steven Burke, will race against Russia’s Alexander Markov for the bronze medal later Saturday.

Burke, competing in his first Olympics, qualified third fastest in his heat in a time of 4:21.5. Markov posted a time of 4:22.3.

Beijing Olympic Track: Wiggins

Beijing Olympic Track: Wiggins

Photo: Graham Watson

American teenager Taylor Phinney, the US champion whose parents Connie Carpenter and Davis Phinney both have Olympic medals, put in a spirited performance but could only clock 4:26.6.

Roulston’s impressive ride gave him a silver medal following a dramatic return to cycling after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

Known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, it left him short of breath, pushed his heart rate to dangerous levels, and put him at risk of dying every time he got on his bike.

He returned to cycling after embracing a Japanese hands-on healing process known as “reiki.”

Wiggins, already Britain’s most decorated Olympic cyclist with four medals, is now assured of adding another to his collection.

Men
Individual Pursuit (4000 meters)

1st round
Steven Burke (GBR) 4 minutes 21.558 seconds defeats Volodymyr Dyudya (UKR)
Alexey Markov (RUS) 4:22.308 defeats Antonio Tauler (ESP)
Hayden Roulston (NZL) 4:19.232 defeats Taylor Phinney (USA)
Bradley Wiggins (GBR) 4:16.571 defeats Alexander Serov (RUS)

Bronze medal race
Steven Burke (GBR) defeats Alexey Markov (RUS)

Gold Medal Final
Bradley Wiggins (GBR) defeats Hayden Roulston (NZL)

Romero set for final in women’s pursuit

Britain’s Rebecca Romero is assured of writing a page in the Olympic history books after qualifying for the women’s individual pursuit final Saturday alongside compatriot Wendy Houvenaghel.

Beijing Olympic Track: The Laoshan velodrome

Beijing Olympic Track: The Laoshan velodrome

Photo: Graham Watson

Romero, who won an Olympic rowing silver four years ago in the women’s quadruple sculls, clocked a time of three minutes 27.7 seconds in her heat against Australian Katie Mactier, who failed to make the medal rounds.

New Zealand’s Alison Shanks will meet Ukrainian Lesya Kalitovska in the bronze medal match.
The 28-year-old Romero is the reigning world champion in the 3,000 meter race against the clock and is now being tipped to land further gold for the pace-setting British track team.

It promises, however, to be a hotly-contested final on Sunday.

Houvenaghel posted the fastest time in qualifying Friday and almost matched Romero’s performance in a time of 3:27.8.

Even if she wins silver, Romero will become just the second woman in Olympic history to win medals from two different sports at the Summer Games.

Roswitha Krause, of the former East Germany, won a swimming silver at the 1968 Games in Mexico from the women’s 4x100m relay. She then won silver in the women’s handball final at the 1976 Games in Montreal, and won handball bronze at Moscow in 1980. Another athlete, American Tim Shaw, won a swimming silver medal in Montreal in 1976 and a water polo silver in Los Angeles eight years later.

American favorite Sarah Hammer failed to make the final after being upstaged in heat one by Shanks, who posted a time of 3:32.4.

The women’s world record for the individual pursuit is still held by retired New Zealander Sarah Ulmer, who clocked 3:24.537 on her way to gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.


Women – Individual Pursuit (3000m)
1st round
Alison Shanks (NZL) 3:32.478 bt Sarah Hammer (USA)
Lesya Kalitovska (UKR) 3:31.785 bt Vilija Sereikaite (LTU)
Rebecca Romero (GBR) 3:27.703 bt Kate Mactier (AUS)
Wendy Houvenaghel (GBR) 3:27.829 bt Lada Kozlikova (CZE)

Bronze medal race
Lesya Kalitovska (UKR) v Alison Shanks (NZL)

Gold medal Final
Rebecca Romero (GBR) v Wendy Houvenaghel (GBR)

Hoy makes keirin final

Beijing Olympic Track:Hoy in the Kierin

Beijing Olympic Track:Hoy in the Kierin

Photo: Graham Watson

Britain’s Chris Hoy powered his way into the final of the men’s keirin final here at the Laoshan Velodrome here Saturday as tried to claim his second Olympic gold medal in as many days.

Hoy was unstoppable in heat one of the second round, where he had a quality field of riders to beat in a bid to secure one of the top three places that allow entry to the six-man final.

After an early burst by France’s Arnaud Tournant, the 32-year-old Scot pulled ahead of the bunch and rode the final lap with relative ease.

Joining him in the six-man final are Tournant, Australian Shane Kelly, fellow Scot Ross Edgar, Japan’s Kiyofumi Nagai and Carsten Bergemann of Germany.

One of the big names missing from the second heat of the second round was Flying Dutchman Theo Bos. Bos, who has been showing mediocre form so far, crashed alongside Polish rider Kamil Kuczynski early in the race.

Defending champion Ryan Bayley, who also won the sprint crown in Athens, will contend the race for places 7-12 after he failed to emerge in the top three from Hoy’s heat.

Hoy, the reigning Olympic kilometer champion, collected his first gold of the Beijing Games when anchoring Britain to team sprint gold on Friday ahead of France.

The Scot will aim for a third gold in the men’s sprint, the qualifying for which begins Sunday.

Keirin (top two from each heat into final)

Heat 1

1. Chris Hoy (GBR)
2. Carsten Bergemann (GER)
3. Toshiaki Fushimi (JPN)
4. Gregory Bauge (FRA)
5. Kamil Kuczynski (POL)
6. Denis Dmitriev (RUS)

Photo Gallery

Results

Men
Individual Pursuit (4000 meters)

1st round
Steven Burke (GBR) 4 minutes 21.558 seconds defeats Volodymyr Dyudya (UKR)
Alexey Markov (RUS) 4:22.308 defeats Antonio Tauler (ESP)
Hayden Roulston (NZL) 4:19.232 defeats Taylor Phinney (USA)
Bradley Wiggins (GBR) 4:16.571 defeats Alexander Serov (RUS)

Bronze medal race
Steven Burke (GBR) defeats Alexey Markov (RUS)

Gold Medal Final
Bradley Wiggins (GBR) defeats Hayden Roulston (NZL)


Women – Individual Pursuit (3000m)
1st round
Alison Shanks (NZL) 3:32.478 bt Sarah Hammer (USA)
Lesya Kalitovska (UKR) 3:31.785 bt Vilija Sereikaite (LTU)
Rebecca Romero (GBR) 3:27.703 bt Kate Mactier (AUS)
Wendy Houvenaghel (GBR) 3:27.829 bt Lada Kozlikova (CZE)

Bronze medal race
Lesya Kalitovska (UKR) v Alison Shanks (NZL)

Gold medal Final
Rebecca Romero (GBR) v Wendy Houvenaghel (GBR)