London Eye: British pursuit trio delighted to claim world record under Australian noses

 

The British trio of Dani King, Laura Trott and Jo Rowsell produced the two fastest times in the history of women's pursuiting to win Britain's third gold of the World Track Championships here in Melbourne yesterday.

But while the three were all smiles bedecked with their gold medals and rainbow jerseys, the sentiment was that the champagne was very much on ice, the job only half-done with London looming.

A beaming King said: "Bring on the Olympics," while Rowsell, bouncing back from a litany of injuries and illnesses, took things further adding "hopefully we'll be invincible by the Olympics".

Her wish is perfectly plausible. In what was their last competition before the Games, it would be unwise to bet against them in an event which is arguably as much about mental strength as it is about the riders' speed.

In qualifying, the British trio had watched as the Australian team, made up of Annette Edmondson, Melissa Hoskins and Josephine Tomic, broke the initial world record with a time of 3min 17.053sec only for the British to steady their nerves and wrest the record back with their subsequent qualifying ride of 3:16.850, 10 minutes later.

Britain had broken the world record at Manchester Velodrome only wearing training kit two days before flying to Australia so were confident of going quicker in the final. But their coach, Paul Manning, winner of Olympic gold in the team pursuit in Beijing, opted to break the news to them before the final that their Aussie rivals had achieved the same feat in a recent training run.

Initially, the pep talk appeared to unsettle rather than lift his riders, who fell nearly one-and-a-half seconds behind their hosts in the final. Rather than panic, though, they stuck to Manning's plan to ride a consistent pace for the 12-lap duration of the race.

They led when it mattered, moving ahead with three laps to go, thanks to a final 1,000 metres that was half-a-second a lap quicker than what the Australians could muster for a new world's best of 3:15.720 nearly a second clear.

Trott, the youngest of the trio at 19, admitted afterwards she may look too diminutive to be capable of competing at the highest level but she proved arguably the strongest asset in the latter stages, putting in longer turns later on than both King and Rowsell, who hailed Trott as "awesome" afterwards.

Trott added: "We wanted to beat them on their home soil, especially before the Olympics. It puts out a strong message. They've got to beat us now, at our home town."

For King, 21, and Trott it was a second world title of their brief careers while for Rowsell, it was her third, marking the end of a bad run of luck.

"I didn't make the team last year," she said. "I'd had glandular fever the summer before and then I had broken my elbow in the winter. These things happen in sport and I'm glad all that happened back in 2010. Now bring on the Olympics."

Britain remain on course to add to their medal tally today courtesy of Victoria Pendleton, who looks to be riding herself into form at just the right time in the 200m sprint. Bronze looks the likeliest outcome, however, having been paired against Anna Meares in the semi-finals, Meares having set a world's best of 10.782sec in yesterday's qualifying.

Pendleton started the day slowly with only the fifth-quickest time in qualifying, confidently beating Yvonne Hijgenaar in round one before edging China's Junhong Lin, who had earlier knocked out Jess Varnish, in the next round. The Olympic champion saved her best for last, however, beating France's Virginie Cueff twice by a bike length in their best-of-three quarter-final to progress to the semi-finals of the individual sprint for a 10th straight world championship.

Olympic news you may have missed...

Transport for London has been forced to change a commemorative 'Olympic Legends' Tube map after overlooking the star of the last London Olympics. Fanny Blankers-Koen won four track and field gold medals at Wembley in 1948. However, the Dutch sprinter, hurdler and long jumper was absent from the list of 361 Olympic greats who replaced tube and railway stations on the TfL map.

The Dutch wrote to Lord Coe and TfL issued an apology, promising to change the map to include Blankers-Koen in its next print run. Mary Decker and Zola Budd are now to share a station in the next edition rather than have one each.

What's coming up...

The Track World Champs continue for the next three days in Melbourne, with Victoria Pendleton in the sprint today, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny in the sprint tomorrow and Sir Chris in the keirin on Sunday. The sailing World Cup continues in Palma.

Who's up?

Britain's female team pursuiters (Joanna Roswell, Dani King and Laura Trott): A world record-breaking victory at the World Track Championships.

Britain's male team pursuiters (Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh, Andy Tennant and Geraint Thomas): A world record-breaking victory at the World Track Championships.

Northern Ireland The Cuban boxing team will train in Belfast ahead of the Games. The Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin describes it as a "huge coup for the north" and says there is cause for excitement around a team recognised for being dominant in the sport. Northern Ireland's Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure said that the deal to bring the Cubans to Belfast was months in the making.

Who's down?

Lizzie Armitstead The British cycling road race champion was 34th in the Tour of Flanders.

Suggested Topics
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat