Cycling trio on track in gold chase
August 7, 2012 11:46 am
Great Britain are on course for further success in the Olympic velodrome with Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott in strong positions to take their second gold medals of the London 2012 Games.
Pendleton is poised to meet Kristina Vogel of Germany in the best-of-three sprint semi-finals on Tuesday afternoon, with Hoy in action in the second round of the keirin, effectively a semi-final, after making straightforward progress.
Trott was in second place after four of the six disciplines in the omnium, with Sarah Hammer of the United States one point ahead, on the final day of action on the track.
Hoy began his bid for a British record sixth Olympic gold with a first-round victory in the keirin, which begins behind a motorised Derny bike.
After watching team-mate Jason Kenny land the sprint title Hoy won in Beijing, the Scot rode in the first of three keirin heats and had to finish in the top two to advance at the first time of asking. The 36-year-old world keirin champion did not wish to hang around and followed Njisane Nicholas Phillip's early move before powering to the front with one and a half laps to go.
Pendleton, who is set to retire after Tuesday's competition, won keirin gold on Friday and is seeking a third Olympic title in all to become Britain's most successful female. The 31-year-old from Stotfold in Bedfordshire was on course to meet perennial rival Anna Meares in the final, if she beat Vogel and the Australian could overcome Guo Shuang of China in the second semi-final.
While Pendleton and Hoy are unlikely to grace another Olympics, 20-year-old Trott, a team pursuit champion on Saturday, was set to perform four years ahead of schedule.
World omnium champion Trott won two of the three disciplines on the opening day of the event before finishing second in the three-kilometre individual pursuit in three minutes 30.547 seconds.
Sarah Hammer of the United States finished in 3mins 29.554secs and assumed the lead. Canada's Tara Whitten was third in the discipline in 3:31.114 and Annette Edmondson of Australia fourth in 3:35.958.
Hammer was on 13 points, with Trott on 14, seven points ahead of Whitten, who was tied with Edmondson on 21 points. With the scratch race and 500m time-trial still to come, effervescent Cheshunt rider Trott, who appears set to inherit Pendleton's mantle as queen of the track, was well placed.
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