For the opening day, two world records have been broken: one in men team pursuit, one in women team sprint. Highpoint of the show, the latest was improved two times in a few minutes!
New world records have been set in Melbourne on this first day of the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. However, for the audience inside the Hisense Arena, the opening meetingâ€™s extraordinary technical prowess was not crowned by the victories expected of the Australians riders. In the menâ€™s team pursuitâ€™s final, the â€śCyclonesâ€ť were hoping to repeat the success they had enjoyed in London in February.
Men team pursuit: A new record for Great Britain
Already looking comfortable during the qualifying heats, with the third best time in history, Great Britain managed to do even better in the decisive part of the competition and pulled off a genuine exploit. The group, composed by Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh and Andrew Tennant covered the 4 kilometers in 3â€™53â€™â€™295, improving the 2008 time which had brought them gold in the Beijing Olympics by 19 hundredths of a second.
The close match between Australia and Great Britain, the two best teams in the world in this discipline, promises us some unforgettable moments this Summer on the Olympic track. By the time of this clash of the titans, New Zealand took in Melbourne the third place in the competition, beating Russia for the bronze medal.
Women team sprint: Undisputable record for Germany
The Australian crowd were hoping for some consolation as soon as the womenâ€™s team sprint final began, after Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch beat Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish in the semi-finals. It was not planned though that Germanyâ€™s Mirian Welte and Kristina Vogel would have a really magical evening, with two world records in the space of a few minutes.
It was thanks to this sequence of remarkable results â€“ and despite the outstanding times set by the Australians, who also bettered the first record in the final â€“ that the two Germans won an unexpected, but not undeserved, gold medal.
In the contest for third place, China beat Great Britain, adding its performance to the overall nationâ€™s table for the opening day of the event.
Men team pursuit: Australia reigns on its home ground
Having been twice on the second step of the podium, Australia finally celebrated its first victory in these UCI World Championships held on home ground. In the menâ€™s team speed final, Shane Perkins, Scott Sunderland and Matthew Glaetzer came in ahead of France, while New Zealand finished third in front of Japan.
Current World Champion in the discipline, Germany was not allowed to fight until the end, having been related for a relay outside the regulated area. Same incident happened to Great Britain.
In the last scheduled race, the menâ€™s Scratch, Ben Swift (GBR) managed to nudge in front of Nolan Hoffman (RSA) and Wim Stroetinga (NED) and brought a very intense race to its conclusion â€“ a mirror image of the first evening in these 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.