China set a women’s team sprint world record at the Olympics on Thursday, minutes after hosts Britain had done the same as the Olympic track cycling got off to a thrilling start.
Guo Shuang and Gong Jinjie clocked 32.447 seconds to qualify fastest for the first round after British pair Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish had been roared on by a passionate home crowd to set 32.526 after a slow start.
The women's team sprint is making its debut at the Olympics. China will meet Venezuela and Britain will battle Ukraine in Thursday's first round, which acts as a semi-final, with Germany, Australia, the Netherlands and France also progressing at the expense of South Korea and Colombia.
Hoy eyes fifth gold
British track cycling king Chris Hoy is expected to add to his impressive collection of Olympic silverware when he lines up in the men’s team sprint.
Hoy owns five Olympic medals, four of which are gold. The Scot will collect a fifth gold, and equal the British record gold medal haul of former rower Steve Redgrave, if he anchors the hosts’ three-man team to victory.
France, Germany and Australia are among Britain’s biggest rivals in the three-lap power event. Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins kickstarted Britain’s bid for cycling gold at the Games by winning the men’s road race time trial Wednesday to secure his fourth Olympic title and seventh medal all round.
On medals count alone, he is now Britain's most decorated Olympian.
Drunken Aussie Rower detained
The Australian rower Josh Booth was detained by police for allegedly causing damage to a shop front in an alcohol-related incident hours after he competed in the men's eight at the Olympic regatta at Eton Dorney. The Australian team chef de mission, Nick Green, said on Thursday that Booth fainted while at the police station and was taken to hospital. He was released a short time later and was not charged by police.
Green, who said he received a call from police at 3am on Thursday morning about the incident, said he will make a decision on potential disciplinary action after he receives more information from the police and Booth. The Australian rowers are staying near to the venue in a former vicarage owned by Eton college.