Bradley Wiggins wins another cycling gold
British track cyclists' medal haul continues
Saturday 16 August 2008
Britain's Bradley Wiggins won his second straight Olympic gold medal in the men's 4,000-meter individual pursuit Saturday, defeating New Zealand's Hayden Roulston in the final.
Wiggins, a three-time world champion in the event, finished in 4:16.977, about 2? seconds ahead of Roulston - who eliminated American star Taylor Phinney in the quarter-final round.
Steven Burke made it a gold-bronze double for Britain after he picked up his speed in the final rounds of the bronze medal match to edge out Russian Alexei Markov.
Wiggins, who had set an Olympic record in the qualifying rounds on Friday, had a huge smile on his face as rode up to the stands to hug and greet some supporters before he set off on a victory lap.
One of Britain's great medal hopes on the track, Wiggins lagged behind Roulston for the first 1,000 metres. After the halfway mark though he began to increase his speed and powered ahead of the New Zealander to finish nearly three seconds ahead.
"I did my best," said Roulston. "There's nothing I regret. Coming into this competition I wouldn't have imagined taking silver. I'm completely happy ... he deserves it."
Wiggins, winner of the last two world championships in this event, closed his eyes as he listened to "God Save the Queen" after receiving his gold medal then pumped his arm in victory after the anthem was played.
Wiggins told the BBC: "I had to play it safe, I couldn't play silly buggers and go chasing world records."
"I'll be 31 in London, coming to my prime," he added. "I'll definitely be in London, but I might concentrate on the team or madison and make sure I get a gold. I have to be sure I'm going to win. I wouldn't want to go out like Bradley McGee did and not qualify for the final."
Earlier there was a bronze medal for Middlesbrough-born Chris Newton. The 33 year-old cyclist finished third behind Spain's Joan Llaneras and Roger Kluge of Germany in the men's point race.
The medal will be appreciated by Newton who pulled out midway through the same event in Athens four years ago.
Britain will win more cycling medals at the velodrome tomorrow. Rebecca Romero and Wendy Houvenaghel ensured an all-British final of the women's individual pursuit on Sunday.
Romero - aiming to become the first British woman to win medals in two different summer Olympic sports - advanced to the gold medal race by beating Australia's Katie Mactier in three minutes, 27.703 seconds.
And Houvenaghel, born in Northern Ireland, was slightly slower - beating Lada Kozlikova of the Czech Republic in 3:27.829.
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