IN one of the most dramtic days of sport seen at the Olympic Games this year Barnsley’s Ed Clancy began his chase for gold.
But even his world record performance as part of the men’s 4,000 metre pursuit team was overshadowed by what happened in the team sprint competitions.
Clancy and teammates Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh eclipsed their own record to finish in a time of three minutes 52.499 seconds to easily qualify for today’s final rounds.
Clancy and the team didn’t speak to the media, but he tweeted: “Great to qually fastest in the TP. We’ll try finish the job tomorrow! Thanks for every message of support and every shout from the crowd.”
That was dramatic enough in itself, but earlier home favourites Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish were disqualified from the women’s team sprint.
Pendleton was adjudged to have passed Varnish too soon heading into the final lap. The pair had set a new world record in qualifying only to see China break it seconds later. And then the Chinese, who beat Germany in the final, were relegated to silver for the same offence as Pendleton.
The mood inside the Velodrome soured but was soon picked up by Clancy and the pursuiters and by the sight of Sir Chris Hoy winning his fifth Olympic gold medal.
Hoy, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny broke their own world record in the team sprint to beat France in the final.
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