China get gold and world record in track cycling; WR also for Germans

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Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi claimed women’s team sprint Olympic gold by beating the German world champions after a world record in qualifying on Monday at the Tokyo Games.

Bao and Zhong won the gold in 31.895 seconds, pipping Lea Sophie Friedrich and Emma Hinze by a mere .085 of a second in the Izu Velodrome where a small number of spectators was present.

The Chinese pair reached the gold medal contest with a world record ride of 31.804. Zhang got her second gold, having also won in 2016, with Gong Jinjie.
Former world champions Daria Shmeleva and Anastasiia Voinova got bronze after silver in 2016 for Russia.

Earlier, Germany’s women smashed the 4,000 metres team pursuit world record in qualifying while world champions Denmark paced the men’s race in Olympic record time.

Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein and Mieke Kroeger clocked 4 minutes 7.307 seconds, taking almost three seconds off the mark of 4:10.236 set by Britain when sealing gold at the Rio 2016 Games.

The British quartet were then more than one second faster before the final kilometre before fading to place second in 4:09.022. Third-placed world champions United States also stayed under the old record with 4:10.118 minutes and Italy were fourth.

Germany now face Italy and the US team Britain in Tuesday’s heats with the winners into the final.

On the men’s side Lasse Norman Hansen, Niklas Larsen, Frederik Madsen and Rasmus Pedersen clocked 3:45.014, less than half a second outside the world record but an Olympic record.

The Danes will meet Britain who have won the last three golds, with their rider Ed Clancy still on the team aiming for a fourth gold.

Italy were second in 3:45.895 and now face third-placed New Zealand for the other place in the final.

Australia were unlucky when the handlebar of one of their riders broke and they didn’t manage a top four finish in a re-run.

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