Day 3 in the Olympic velodrome only sees a single medal awarded – the Women’s Team Pursuit – but it’s a huge day of competition with the Men’s Sprint and Men’s Omnium competitions kicking off. It also sees the first morning session of the competition.
The morning session kicks off with the Men’s Sprint Qualifying. In contrast with the World Cup in London in February which saw over 50 riders attempt to qualify, in the Olympics there are just 17 – with just a single rider facing the prospect of elimination before the round of 16.
Day 1 sees the field whittled down to the final 8 – with a ride off for places 9 to 12. If we had to make a prediction, we’d expect to see Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia, New Zealand’s Eddie Dawkins, Russia’s Denis Dmitriev, Miao Zhang of China, Aussie Shane Perkins, Robert Forstemann of Germany, Great Britain’s Jason Kenny and France’s Gregory Baugé – but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Njisane Phillip of Trinidad & Tobago, Seiichiro Nakagawa of Japan or Poland’s Damian Zielinski in there.
What we’re not going to do at this point is predict the medals!
The Men’s Omnium kicks off with a flying 250m in the morning session and a Points race and Elimination Race in the afternoon.
Possibly one of the hardest events to predict, we’d be surprised if the medals aren’t shared between three of Belgium’s Gijs van Hoecke, Elia Viviani of Italy, Eloy Teruel of Spain, Germany’s Roger Kluge, Juan Esteban Arango of Colombia, Bryan Coquard of France, Zach Bell of Canada, Kiwi Shane Archbold, Edward Clancy of Great Britain and Glenn O’Shea of Australia.
Each has his own strengths and weaknesses and most have won either a World Championship or World Cup round in the short history of the event. Too close to call!
Women’s Team Pursuit
Day 2 saw the field narrowed to eight teams and Day 3 sees the conclusion of the competition with four First Round Heats followed by four Finals rides. As in the Men’s competition, the winners of the Heats 3 and 4 will progress to the Gold Medal ride with the fastest two teams from the remaining six going to the Bronze Medal ride.
The USA were three tenths ahead of opponents Australia but had an untidy end to their ride and this one will be close. Great Britain were 5.2 seconds quicker than their opponents Canada and, realistically, it will take a miracle for Canada and a disaster for Great Britain to prevent Laura Trott, Dani King and Jo Rowsell for making the Final.
Canada, the United States and Australia were all within a few tenths so, should all make the medal rides. Only New Zealand – half a second back – have a realistic chance of moving up from ‘pool 2’.
Netherlands vs Germany
New Zealand vs Belarus
United States vs Australia
Great Britain vs Canada
GOLD Great Britain