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HomeOlympicsLondon 2012 - Day 5 - Changing of the Guard

London 2012 – Day 5 – Changing of the Guard

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Another day, another Gold medal for Great Britain as Jason Kenny took the Men’s Sprint title. And more may come on the Final day as Laura Trott tops the overnight leaderboard in the Women’s Omnium and Victoria Pendleton moves effortlessly into the Semi Finals of the Women’s Sprint.

Men’s Sprint – Semi Finals

Trinidadian Sprinter Njisane Philip was showing no sign of any nerves from as he sat waiting to take to the track against 2011 World Sprint. Great Britain’s Jason Kenny had his heated leg warmers on under a towel and looked focussed. Phillip had a limited number of options and his best bet seemed to be to leave his sprint as late as possible and, if he could, catch Kenny by surprise.

Kenny, though, wasn’t going to let that happen. He controlled things from the front and once he turned on the tap, Philip couldn’t get anywhere near him.

The second Semi Final should have been a lot closer. Australia’s Shane Perkins and France’s Grégory Baugé both looked on good form and were much close in terms of experience – although to say Baugé had the edge on head-to-head encounters would be an understatement. Perkins took to front and tried to control the pace – trying to avoid the drag race. Perkins is quick, but Baugé is like a train. Perkins cracked first and led it out but Baugé was just too strong. He rode round the Australian through turns 3 and 4, just close enough to make his point. 1-0 Baugé.

At the halfway stage both Semis had gone to form and it was hard to see either going to a decider. Kenny and Phillip got up on track again – with Philip leading his one out. He never took his eye off Kenny, who decided not to risk a short, sharp sprint and jumped early. There was a big flick from Phillip but the British Sprinter saw it, rode round it without missing a beat and rode away from the Trini rider. Phillip seemed to think he’d been hard done by – or maybe he was just disappointed with his ride. If he was, he shouldn’t have been. He showed promise at the World Cup in London in February, but he’s performed far above any sensible expectations this week – and he still had a shot at a Bronze medal – and tomorrow’s Keirin competition – to enjoy.

In the other Semi, Perkins tried a different a approach – holding off behind Baugéb waiting for an opportunity to present itself. It wasn’t obvious that he could take the opportunity if it presented itself, but it wasn’t obvious what else he could do. Baugé made his move and the chase was on. Perkins came back at him but couldn’t quite catch him. 2-0 to Baugé. Which set up a cracking final – and an intriguing Bronze medal ride

Men’s Sprint – Finals

Phillip and Perkins were up first for the opening ride in the Bronze medal match. Perkins tried to control it from the front but the Trinidadian saw the opportunity he never got with Kenny and went for a long one. It almost worked, too – Perkins just caught him on the line, but it was a brilliant race from Phillip – he did everything right but didn’t quite have the power.

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The opening ride of the Gold medal ride saw a cautious race between Baugé and Kenny. The big Frenchman tool to the front, constantly looking round. Kenny used the height of the track, feinting a couple of times before finally making his move. Baugé responded and had a gap but the 24-year old from Bolton rode past Baugé on the back straight as though he wasn’t moving. The balance, it appeared, had shifted.

In the second ride of the Bronze medal ride the Trini rider started looking full of confidence, and ended looking tired – but he made a fight of it and Perkins looked very, very strong. The Bronze went to Australia.

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Given Baugé’s record against Kenny, nobody would have been surprised if the Gold medal ride has gone to three. Kenny took to the front – he said later that he was conscious of the fact that Sir Chris Hoy, the team mate he was selected ahead of, would never have allowed a 1-0 lead over Baugé slip away – and controlled the race. He never took his eyes off Baugé and as the Frenchman started to wind it up, Kenny just kept the gap. He gave it everything, but Baugé just couldn’t get on terms when Kenny went. Another cycling Gold to Great Britain.

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Men’s Sprint

GOLD Jason Kenny GBR
SILVER Grégory Baugé FRA
BRONZE Shane Perkins AUS

Women’s Sprint – Quarter Finals

Great Britain’s Victoria Pendleton and Olga Panarina of Belarus were the first of the Quarter Finals on track. Panarina had underperformed since the 200m Time Trial – where she qualified 5th. She’s unquestionably quick, but she seemed to be lacking in confidence – and that continued in to the Quarters. Pendleton was always in control. She kept Panarina behind her and dictated the pace throughout. 1-0.

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Australia’s Anna Meaeres faced Lyubov Shulika of Ukraine in the second match. The Ukrainian is getting better all the time but she’s got some way to go before she can challenge Meares who held her off to go one up.

The match between Shuang Guo of China and Lisandra Guerra of Cuba looked like a formality. The 2008 World 500m Champion, Guerra has been a consistent Quarter Finalist in Sprint competitions, but has rarely progressed while the 2009 Keirin World Champion is a regular in medal rides – and wouldn’t have won a lot more, had she not been unlucky enough to ride at the same time as Pendleton and Meares.

But you can never take anything for granted in track sprinting and Guerra got the jump on Guo and took the lead in the match with relative ease.

While Pendleton and Meares’ progress to the Semi Finals always looked likely to be untroubled, the match between Kristina Vogel of Germany and Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite was going to be closer. It wasn’t. Vogel took it comfortably.

And the second matc
h in the contest between Panarina and Pendelton was almost too easy. Pendleton was in to the Semi Finals tomorrow, Panarina left to wonder what might have been.

The second race between Meares and Shulika was a classic, slow tactical race with Shulika doing her best to control it from the front. When she attaked, though, the bike stalled. Meares saw her stutter and pounced, cruising past to join Pendleton in the Semis. 

In the process, though, Meares lost the visor from the helmet. Not a one off – it happened at the World Cup round in February – and there were calls for the helmets to be checked because, under other circumstance, it could easily have gone under an opponent’s wheel and caused an accident.

In the second contest between Guerra and Guo it’s the Chinese rider who wins the drag race, there are a couple of incidents that draw the commissaires’ attention. Early in the sprint Guerra deviates from her line, but doesn’t really impede Guo, but coming off turn 4 Guo chops in front of Guerra, causing the Cuban to back off and protest. The video was analysed for some time but no action was taken. This match would go to a decider.

There were some questions over Round 2 of the Vogel vs Krupeckaite match, too. Vogel won again but she clearly came out of the lane, too. Did she impede the Lithuanian? Would this one stand? The Commissaires decided she hadn’t, and it would. Vogel was through.

And Guerra’s spirit seemed to have been broken when Guo went unpunished for impeding her in the second match. Guo looked as strong as we’d expected her to as she took the decider. But we think Guerra’s capitulation may have flattered here a little.

Krupeckaite held off a somewhat resurgent Guerra to wrap up 5th but all eyes were already on the Semi Finals where Pendleton will take on Vogel and Meares will face Guo.

Women’s Omnium I – 250m Flying Lap

The Women’s Omnium kicked off with the Flying 250 with sprinter Clara Sanchez of France predicted to go fastest with a time round 14 seconds. She didn’t disappoint with an excellent time of 14.058 which lifted her comfortably to the top of the scoreboard.

Nobody got close until Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands posted a 14.335 to go into second. The first of the pre-event favourites – Annette Edmondson of Australia – bettered that, but couldn’t get close to Sanchez, clocking 14.261.

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World Champion Laura Trott of Great Britain could, though – by the smallest possible margin. She stormed round in 14.057 seconds to take over at the top.

Tara Whitten of Canada looked a bit ragged – 14.516 was only good enough for 6th and she dropped down another place as the final rider Sarah Hammer of the USA went 5th with 14.369.

That left Trott leader the competition after the first event with Sanchez – who was likely to slip away as the endurance events started – 2nd and Edmondson – predicted to be Trott’s biggest rival – 3rd

Women’s Omnium 250m Flying Lap Result & Standings After 1st Event
1 TROTT Laura GBR 14.057

2 SANCHEZ Clara FRA 14.058
3 EDMONDSON Annette AUS 14.261
4 WILD Kirsten NED 14.335
5 HAMMER Sarah USA 14.369
6 OLABERRIA DORRONSORO Leire ESP 14.463
7 WHITTEN Tara CAN 14.516
8 MEJIAS GARCIA Marlies CUB 14.554
9 HUANG Li CHN 14.571
10 D’HOORE Jolien BEL 14.594
11 HSIAO Mei Yu TPE 14.662
12 SHARAKOVA Tatsiana BLR 14.701
13 WOJTYRA Malgorzata POL 14.754
14 LEE Minhye KOR 14.793
15 ROMANYUTA Evgeniya RUS 14.909
16 KIESANOWSKI Joanne NZL 14.924
17 GONZALEZ Angie VEN 15.115
18 CALLE WILLIAMS Maria Luisa COL 15.559

Womens Omnium II – Points Race

With Trott having confirmed her status as red hot favourite to win the Omnium, it was almost inevitable that she would be marked out of the Points Race and, once the pace picked up, she was.

Fairly pedestrian up until the first sprint – which Edmondson took from Whitten, Leire Olaberria of Spain and Joanne Kiesanowski of New Zealand – it settled down again after it. Trott took the second from Marlies Mejias of Cuba, Li Huang of China and Olaberria. And then things started to pick up.

A five rider break away slipped away. It contained none of the real favourites for the overall, but a couple that could shake things up, but any efforts to chase the down were snuffed out. Jolien D’Hoore of Belgium took Sprint 3 with Evgeniya Romanyuta of Russia, Maria Luisa Calle of Colombia and Malorzata Wojytra of Poland taking the rest of the points. Having hung back just long enough to secure the sprint, those four – plus Angie Gonzalez of Venezuela – then took a lap.

If those five weren’t a major worry for Trott, two of the next three to take a lap certainly were – Hammer, Whitten and Kiesanowski. With that move, Trott and Edmondson were the only two of the favourites a lap down.

Sharakova took Sprint 4 from Wojtyra, Mei Yu Hsiao of Taipei and Mejias which left D’Hoore ahead of Wojtyra by one point with Whitten a point further back, tied with Romanyuta.

Hammer took Sprint 5 from Trott, Edmondson and Kiesanowski – which left Trott as the highest placed of the lapped riders, but there were nine riders a lap up, which limited the degree to which the Briton could reduce the deficit to her rivals.

It also changed the situation in the race with Hammer, D’Hoore and Sharakova tied for the lead on 25 points. That tie was rendered irrelevant when Wojtyra slipped off on her own. The move wouldn’t affect the Omnium overall, but it might guarantee the Pole the win in the Points Race.

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Wojtyra, Whitten, Wild and Edmondson took the points from Sprint 6 with Wojtyra now leading overall. She sealed the win by taking the penultimate Sprint from Lee, Edmondson and Trott.
That third place for Edmondson was significant – it left her 10th in 10 points at that stage, Trott 11th on 9 and, if the race finished like that, it would see the two favourites tied on points in the overall.

The final sprint saw Whitten led it out but Sharakova pulled Trott through and was then rolled on the line – Trott taking the final sprint from Sharakova and leapfrogging Edmondson.
Wojtyra won the race from Sharakova, Whitten, D’Hoore and Hammer which left Hammer and Whitten tied for the lead on 10 points and Trott third on 11.

Women’s Omnium Points Race Result
1 WOJTYRA Malgorzata POL 34

2 SHARAKOVA Tatsiana BLR 28
3 WHITTEN Tara CAN 28
4 D’HOORE Jolien BEL 25
5 HAMMER Sarah USA 25
6 ROMANYUTA Evgeniya RUS 24
7 KIESANOWSKI Joanne NZL 22
8 CALLE WILLIAMS Maria Luisa COL 22
9 GONZALEZ Angie VEN 20
10 TROTT Laura GBR 14
11 EDMONDSON Annette AUS 10
12 MEJIAS GARCIA Marlies CUB 4
13 OLABERRIA DORRONSORO Leire ESP 3
14 LEE Minhye KOR 3
15 HUANG Li CHN 2
16 WILD Kirsten NED 2
17 HSIAO Mei Yu TPE 2
18 SANCHEZ Clara FRA 0

Standings after two events
1 HAMMER Sarah USA 10

2 WHITTEN Tara CAN 10
3 TROTT Laura GBR 11
4 EDMONDSON Annette AUS 14
5 D’HOORE Jolien BL 14
6 SHARAKOVA Tatsiana BLR 14
7 WOJTYRA Malgorzata POL 14
8 OLABERRIA DORRONSORO Leire ESP 19
9 SANCHEZ Clara FRA 20
10 WILD Kirsten NED 20
11 MEJIAS GARCIA Marlies CUB 20
12 ROMANYUTA Evgeniya RUS 21
13 KIESANOWSKI Joanne NZL 23
14 HUANG Li CHN 24
15 GONZALEZ Angie VEN 26
16 CALLE WILLIAMS Maria Luisa COL 26
17 HSIAO Mei Yu TPE 28
18 LEE Minhye KOR 28

Women’s Omnium III – Elimination Race
Elimination races can be a bit random, but Laura Trott seems to have an uncanny knack for doing well – even if she doesn’t always do it the easy way!

Gonzalez was the first out, followed Huang and Sharakova. Calle was next, then Olaberria. All the leading riders were avoiding an early exit but Points Race winner Wojtyra was looking tired and living dangerously. She managed to find a gap to squeeze in to, leaving Lee of Korea exposed and out.

Wojtyra was out next but – almost stayed in at the expense of Trott – who only just managed to squeeze ahead of Mejias of Cuba to avoid the next elimination.

As Trott moved to the front, Whitten went out of the back – which would have an effect the top of the leaderboard. Kiesanowski was next out – a close shave prompting Edmondson to move forward, out of danger. Six to go.

A Benelux 1-2 with D’Hoore going first, followed by Wild and there were four left. Next out was Romanyuta – after Hammer nearly took Trott down by swinging up wildly.

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There were now three of the four favourites left and it was Edmondson who lost out, leaving Trott and Hammer to contest a weary Match Sprint. Whoever won it would lead overnight and it was Trott who made the move with half a lap to go. Hammer couldn’t respond, so the dimunitive Brit – who spent the time between her Team Pursuit win and the Omnium trying to ensure that her commemorative gold post box was repainted in the correct town – took the single point.

That left Trott and Hammer tied on points but with Trott in first place based on her two wins in the first three events.

Women’s Omnium Elimination Race Result
1 TROTT Laura GBR

2 HAMMER Sarah USA
3 EDMONDSON Annette AUS
4 ROMANYUTA Evgeniya RUS
5 WILD Kirsten NED
6 D’HOORE Jolien BEL
7 KIESANOWSKI Joanne NZL
8 WHITTEN Tara CAN
9 MEJIAS GARCIA Marlies CUB
10 WOJTYRA Malgorzata POL
11 LEE Minhye KOR
12 OLABERRIA DORRONSORO Leire ESP
13 SANCHEZ Clara FRA
14 CALLE WILLIAMS Maria Luisa COL
15 SHARAKOVA Tatsiana BLR
16 HUANG Li CHN
17 HSIAO Mei Yu TPE
18 GONZALEZ Angie VEN

Standings after 3 events
1 TROTT Laura GBR 12

2 HAMMER Sarah USA 12
3 EDMONDSON Annette AUS 17
4 WHITTEN Tara CAN 18
5 D’HOORE Jolien BEL 20
6 WOJTYRA Malgorzata POL 24
7 WILD Kirsten NED 25
8 ROMANYUTA Evgeniya RUS 25
9 MEJIAS GARCIA Marlies CUB 29
10 SHARAKOVA Tatsiana BLR 29
11 KIESANOWSKI Joanne NZL 30
12 OLABERRIA DORRONSORO Leire ESP 31
13 SANCHEZ Clara FRA 33
14 LEE Minhye KOR 39
15 HUANG Li CHN 40
16 CALLE WILLIAMS Maria Luisa COL 40
17 GONZALEZ Angie VEN 44
18 HSIAO Mei Yu TPE 45

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