Britain's women break team pursuit world record as they set-up gold medal showdown with America
- Team GB's world record broken by the Americans in the first round
- Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald had set that broken feat in qualifying on Thursday
- Racing Canada for a place in the final, GB responded with a new record
- Now Team GB face USA for the gold medal race on Saturday night
The Great Britain women's team pursuit squad responded to a show of strength from gold medal rivals America by setting a new world record in qualifying for Saturday night's final.
Moments after the United States had broken the record set by the British women in qualifying on Thursday, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald responded with a new time of their own.
The U.S. beat Australia in their semi-final in a time of 4:12.282secs to set the mark. Britain needed only to beat Canada to advance to the final, but with the gauntlet laid down by their rivals won in 4:12.152.
Great Britain's women team pursuiters set a new world to qualify for the gold medal race
Kate Archibald, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell celebrate their new record
Trott is bidding for her third Olympic gold and Rowsell-Shand her second after both won the event at London 2012 on 'Super Saturday', with Dani King.
The event has since been expanded to feature four riders over 4km, but Britain stuck with the same quartet used in the first round, leaving Ciara Horne in reserve.
Canada were two seconds behind with 1km to go and had already lost a rider, meaning Britain's progression was something of a formality.
Rowsell-Shand peeled off and Britain still went quicker than ever.
Trott waves to the crowd in the Olympic velodrome in Rio after setting a new world record
Britain are the reigning Olympic champions, beating the U.S. in the final four years ago at their home Games in London. The Americans are reigning world champions after winning the title in March at the same Lee Valley Velodrome.
The bronze medal ride-off will be between Canada and New Zealand after Australia, world record holders entering the Games, finished fifth fastest in the first round.
The women's keirin will also be decided Saturday night. With Britain's Becky James and Anna Meares of Australia among the favourites.
USA's Sarah Hammer (right) and her team-mates set a world record of their own in Heat 3
Great Britain's women beat the United States to claim gold in the team pursuit final at Rio 2016
- Great Britain's women secure Team GB's third gold at the Rio Velodrome
- British quartet set a new world record time of 4:10.236 to beat the USA
- Laura Trott becomes the first British woman to win three Olympic golds
- Canada won the bronze medal with a comfortable win over New Zealand
They traded world records like the early blows of a heavyweight bout in qualifying for the final but when it came to separating two quite brilliant women's team pursuit quartets on Saturday, Great Britain's most successful female Olympian almost certainly made the difference.
Laura Trott became the first British woman to win three Olympic golds and she also proved that even in a team event the quality of the individual still counts.
It was true of Jason Kenny in the men's team sprint on Thursday and true again of Sir Bradley Wiggins in that epic team pursuit final on Friday night.
Great Britain's women defeated the USA in the final of the team pursuit on Saturday
WOMEN'S TEAM PURSUIT
True too of the men's and women's eights, who added to a growing medal tally with gold and silver in the rowing to spark what Team GB hoped would be another super Saturday.
Here inside the velodrome Trott combined forces with the similarly brilliant Katie Archibald, Joanna Roswell-Shand and Elinor Barker to conquer an outstanding USA quartet in devastating fashion, taking almost a further two full seconds of the record they set in the previous round.
What a race. What an exhibition of talent, tactics and cutting-edge technology.
Katie Archibald, Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Elinor Barker and Laura Trott celebrate victory
The two teams came into this event boasting the best kit as well as the best riders. Not quite a space race but a pace race, Team GB boasted about the speed of their new bikes and the aerodynamic design of a skinsuit that remained locked away until the Games.
While the American world champions had their revolutionary chainset configuration; a simple switch to the left-hand side of the bike but something that had never been done before.
Team GB's Cambridge University boffins were not convinced it would propel them faster in an anti-clockwise direction around the track, only for the USA to respond to the British quartet's world record in the opening round to take the best part of a second off that time and book their place in the final.
Great Britain's women's team set another new world record during the gold medal race
But then out came Trott and her colleagues again, going faster still – 4:12.152 – to join them in the gold medal race a few minutes later.
With just 0.130s dividing the two teams it was likely to be close, however, and the sight of these two teams riding with such power, such precision, such beauty, in pursuit of glory represented another moment of the Games.
Trott becomes the greatest British female Olympian after winning three gold medals
But after exchanging the lead over the first few laps Trott and her team-mates put the hammer down and annihilated their rivals, finishing this thrilling duel on the boards in an astonishing time of 4:10.236 – more than two seconds ahead of the USA.
It means Trott has that third Olympic gold with a fourth now likely to follow in the omnium, with two more also expected in the golden household if fiancé Kenny now wins the individual sprint events and matches Sir Chris Hoy with six golds in all.
Some story. Some race.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/olympics-2016-medals/article-3739279/Great-Britain-s-women-beat-United-States-claim-gold-team-pursuit-final-Rio-2016.html#ixzz4HFfSeLzS
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Team GB win gold on the Women's Pursuit Final at the Olympic Velodrome