…on the track.
Nah it’s not those three golds in the Olympic stadium that will be getting all the attention today and many will claim to be the moments of the games. It’s Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell, who will be overlooked because far too many think Olympics starts and stops with track and field.
Over the previous two days in the velodrome, Thursday and Friday, amongst all the golds that the GB team were racking up, three young women quietly came out broke the world record in the 3km team pursuit then quietly disappeared. Last night, Saturday, they were allowed to be seen and heard after the event.
The first two parts though were exactly as had gone before, they quietly appeared on the track – it’s them that was quiet not the crowd who have made some amazing noise through the competitions – and then they destroyed both the American team facing them in the final and their own world record.
Destroyed being the right word as they were knocking, thousandths, or hundreds or a tenth off the time set in the first round. They reduced the record by over half a second. That record was itself a second faster than than the previous one they set the night before. In the space of three races they’ve knocked pretty much 2 seconds off the record they set in the World Championship. They’ve actually broken the world record in their last 6 competitive races.
They also epitomize why the GB cycling team succeed with such regularity. When this race was first introduced as an event for women, just four years ago, only one of the current squad, Joanna Rowsell, was in that gold medal winning trio.
The other two are still around but despite Rebecca Romero and Wendy Houvenaghel being former Olympic medallists and world champions they can’t get in the team. There’s also Lizzie Armitstead, silver medal winner in this Olympic road race and Sarah Storey.
It is much like the rowing team that has also been so successful at these and the previous games. Everyone in a team or a boat knows there’s someone right behind them ready and able to take their place. No complacency. No cruising through on name alone. You have to succeed and succeed they do with golds and records galore.
Again it’s hard to pick the best moment from the velodrome, every day just seems to top the last, though only one medal on Friday it was so commanding it could pretty much top the lot.
Best reaction of the day has to go to the rowing regatta and Katherine Copeland in the women’s lightweight double sculls as she and Sophie Hosking won gold. Copeland couldn’t quite believe it, she looked around to see the team that finished ahead of them but there was no one there. Open mouthed completely stunned she said to Hosking
we’re going to be on a stamp. Great reaction.