- The New Zealand men’s cycling team pursuiters went heartbreaking close to earning a medal at the velodrome today.
After qualifying impressively yesterday, the New Zealanders – Piet Bulling, Aaron Gate, Dylan Kennett and Regan Gough - had to face the the power-packed Great Britain side in the first round.
Britain were fantastic, setting a world record of 3min 50.570, but the New Zealanders hung on tenaciously and recorded 3min 55.654s, good enough to get them into the bronze medal ride-off against Denmark.
There were high hopes of a medal performance, but Denmark were too strong and in the end the New Zealand team lost its rhythm somewhat. Denmark were timed at 3min 53.789s, New Zealand 3min 56.753s.
Gate said the New Zealand team tried a different tactic for the medal race.
“In the end, the Danes were too good. We gave it all we had,” he said. “Overall we are a really young team. I’m the only one who has been to an Olympics, so they are young with big futures. I’m sure they will learn a lot from this.”
In the final, Britain broke their own world record (which had lasted an hour), winning in 3min 50.265s from a gritty Australian team.
The New Zealand women’s sprint team of Natasha Hansen and Olivia Podmore were ninth in their qualifying ride and failed to progress.
New Zealand had two riders in the men’s sprint. Sam Webster was ninth in qualifying with 9.880s and team-mate Eddie Dawkins 10th in 9.895s.
Ironically, the two New Zealanders then had to face each other in the quarter-finals. Webster prevailed by 0.15s.Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Natasha Hansen Liv Podmore Sam Webster Eddie Dawkins Piet Bulling Aaron Gate Dylan Kennett Regan Gough Cycling - Track