World Track Championships 2010: Men's sprinters take bronze and Houvenaghel scores another silver
No golds on day one but Brailsford is still happy
The Ballerup Superarena in Copenhagen, Denmark is the setting for this year's track World Championships and the first night of competition saw team GB come away with two medals, although it perhaps wasn't the haul they would have liked. Hoy, Edgar and Kenny had high hopes in the team sprint and Chris Newton and Wendy Houvenhagel were also prospects in the points race and 3km pursuit respectively.
In the Men's team sprint ason Kenny, Ross Edgar and Sir Chris Hoy were up against Australia in the heats, and Hoy had to deal with a snapped pedal before lining up for the off. Although Kenny's lead out lap of 17.471 wasn't the fastest Edgar and Hoy worked hard to post a time of 43.802 which was the leading time before the final heat. However the French threesome of Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau and Michael D'Almeida put in a blistering last heat, stopping the clock at 43.373 and edging out the excellent German team of Robert Fortsemann, Stefan Nimke and Maximilian Levy who rolled in less than a tenth behind to claim second spot in the final.
That left team GB in the third place shootout with China. Kenny had a problem with his pedal from the gun which mirrored Hoy's issues in the heats. Kenny wasn't put off though and from the restart recorded a blistering 17.291 to set up Edgar and Hoy to steam home in 43.590 for a bronze. The gold medal race was a repeat of the final heat but the positions were reversed in the final shake-up, with Germany edging out France by two hundredths of a second to take the gold in 43.433.
Wendy Houvenaghel is in danger of getting a reputation for finishing second and was edged out again tonight. She was hoping for a gold in the 3km pursuit but was up against the in-form American Sarah Hammer in the final and faded towards the end, running out second in 3:32.496 behind Hammer's winning time of 3:28.601, her third win in a row. Vilija Sereikaite (LTU) took the bronze.
Chris Newton returned to the scene of his World championship triumph of eight years ago and made a strong start in the points race scoring a third with 110 laps to go to move himself up to fourth with Kluge (GER) and Meyer (AUS) leading the pack. Meyer stole a lap from Kluge with 75 laps to go, taking the lead as he went round with Schep (NED), De Poortere (BEL) and Kadlec (CZE). Newton took the next sprint and sprint 11 but Meyer had the legs to go it alone and take another lap in a strong display and with 35 laps to go he was well clear of the field.
Newton took the next sprint but Meyer again showed his strength taking sprint 14. Sprint 15 went to Newton to give himself a chance of bronze. He went early in the final sprint but on the line was edged out to fourth place by a single point. Meyer won with a massive 70 points from Peter Schep (33) with Kadlec (27) taking bronze.
In the women's 500m time trial Anna Meares (AUS) was too strong for Simona Krupeckaite (LTU), edging her out by eight hundreths of a second. Olga Panarina (BLR) came in third, with Jess Varnish 12th and Rebecca James 16th
Team GB's performance director Dave Brailsford was keen to emphasise the positives of the night. Kenny's performance as lead-out man - a new position for him - was excellent in the bronze medal fight and although the Silver for Houvenhagel was disappointing on a personal level the team are looking more to the Olympic discipline of the team pusruit. "What we're looking for from these championships is exactly what we've seen tonight", he said. "We looked really weak in man 1 for the team sprint but Jason Kenny has lifted himself to world class level in that spot and resolved the problem for us. They're the types of things we're looking at this far out from the 2012 games. The medals are important but there are subtleties in there that will make us happy, or not. And tonight we're happy."