The Australian men's team sprint trio of Matthew
Glaetzer, Shane Perkins and AIS-WAIS athlete Scott Sunderland raced valliantly
on debut to finish fourth in the bronze medal race against Germany.
The Aussies clocked 43.355 behind the German's 43.209,
but it was Great Britain who stole the show with a lightening 42.600 to set a
new world record and lift the roof of the velodrome with a raucous home crowd
celebrating Great Britain’s success.
The Australians headed into the event as the reigning
world champions after their title win at the Track World Championships in
Melbourne in April of this year, but where the Australians had come out on top
on that occasion, it was quickly evident that both Great Britain and France
were in form that no other country could match.
Despite missing out on the medals, the Sunderland and the
men’s sprint trio put in a gutsy effort in the bronze ride off, finishing
marginally short of the pre-Olympic gold medal favourites Germany.
In the women's team sprint Anna Meares and Kaarle
McCulloch easily accounted for the Ukraine to win the bronze medal. The
all-conquering China team rode much slower than their world record time of
32.447sec., and appeared to be too strong for Germany in the ride-off for the
gold medal, but were disqualified after the race handing the German World
Australia’s much-hyped team pursuit quartet qualified
second fastest behind nemesis Great Britain today, but the Brits appear to have
switched to another gear since winning the world title in Melbourne last April.
Australia’s time of 3min55.694sec. was well outside the
3:53.401 they registered in winning the world silver medal, but more
importantly, Great Britain posted a world record 3min.52.499, eclipsing their
mark of 3:53.401 in winning the gold medal in Melbourne.
The Aussies quest for a faster time was not helped by the
early withdrawal of starter Glenn O’Shea, who has a heavy Olympic program ahead
as he will also contest the six-event omnium series.
O’Shea, 23, was preferred to ride the qualifying event
today, ahead of the team’s youngest member, Alex Edmondson, 18.
Team veteran Jack Bobridge, the only survivor from the
Beijing Olympics, suggested a few days ago that a time of 3.50-3.51 would be
required to win the gold medal.