Olympic Track Day 4: Lasse Hansen wins Omnium for Denmark, Ed Clancy gets bronze

Meanwhile Pendleton and Kenny both looking good as they take another step towards individual sprint finals

by Simon_MacMichael   August 5, 2012  

Olympic Rings and Velodrome

Lasse Hansen of Denmark has won the sixth gold medal of the ten to be decided in the Olympic Velodrome, winning the omnium with a gutsy performance after crashing in the scratch race. Bryan Coquard of France took silver, with Great  Britain's Ed Clancy, who lost ground to his rivals in that scratch race, recovering to post the fastest time in the kilo to secure bronze. Meanwhile Great Britain's Jason Kenny has qualified for tomorrow's semi-finals of the men's individual sprint, while Victoria Pendleton is through to the quarter-finals of the women's version of that event.

Men's Omnium

Hansen had been fifth overnight, with Coquard and Italy's Elia Viviani occupying the top two places in the standings, with Australia's Glenn O'Shea, the world champion, third and Clancy fourth. The 20-year-old Dane's challenge today was boosted when he posted the fastest time, but it was the scratch race that would prove pivotal in his winning gold today.

Hansen's crash in that race, the fifth of the sixth events, came as Clancy moved up from the inside of the track. Hansen appeared to misjudge the rapidly closing distance between them and clipped the Briton's rear wheel. Clancy stayed upright, but Hansen was sent crashing to the floor, ripping his skinsuit and picking up some painful looking abrasions down his left side.

Rejoining the race without penalty, he set off alone in pursuit of a breakaway group containing medal contenders such as Coquard and Italy's Elia Viviani, who managed to gain a lap on the field. Clancy missed that move, finishing 11th in the race, but while Hansen wouldn't catch that group, who would manage to gain a lap himself.

Prior to the scratch race, O'Shea and Clancy had occupied the top two medal positions, but getting lapped by their rivals would cost them dear, the Australian falling to sixth overall, two points behind Clancy who was fifth on 29 points with just one event left.

Three men were tied on 25 points as the final event, the kilo time trial began - Hansen, Coquard and Viviani, ranked in that order on countback. Hansen would go on to post the second quickest time to ensure himself the gold medal, the fastest time being a scorching 1:00.91 from Clancy, who would jump above fourth placed Roger Kluge of Germany and Viviani to take bronze.

It's Clancy second medal of London 2012, having helped defend the team pursuit title he played a role in Great Britain winning in Beijing four years ago, and after winning the bronze medal today he said: "I came here for team pursuit gold. In the omnium I knew it was touch and go whether I got a medal. I want to say thanks to the team, at one point I even had the great Mark Cavendish on the phone offering me some advice!

"In the points race those guys just tore me apart, but that elimination saved my race. In the scratch, I was in it to win it but I didn't have the legs.

“I had the form of my life in the 1km time trial, the flying lap and the individual pursuit. I beat them by a mile in all of them. At one point I was looking at getting the gold but, in the scratch, it just slipped away."

Women's Individual Sprint

Defending champion Pendleton, who won keirin gold on Friday, set a new Olympic record of 10.724 in qualifying ahead of Australia's Anna Meares, who she beat in the semi-final on the way to wining the world championship in Melbourne in April.

The Briton would go on to despatch Ekaterina Gnidenko of Russia in round of 32, then beat the Netherlands' Willy Kanis in her round of 16 heatl to move through to tomorrow's's quarter-finals. The semi-finals and finals will be on Tuesday, the last day of Olympic track action.

Also through are Meares, who came to London with hopes of three gold medals but in the first two of the three events she is competing in has just a bronze medal from the team sprint and China's Guo Shuang, who took silver in the keirin.

Completing the six riders who qualified automatically for the last eight were Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania and Cuba's Lisandra Guerra plus Germany's Kristina Vogel, who took team sprint gold with Miriam Welte after China were relegated in the final for an illegal changeover, as Great Britain had been in the First Round.

The final two riders to qualify did so via the repechage - Lyubov Shulika of Ukraine, and Beluras rider Olga Panarina.

Men's Individual Sprint

The semi-finals and final of the men's individual sprint takes place tomorrow, and includes the two men who have contested the world championship final in each of the past two years, Great Britain's Jason Kenny and France's Grégory Baugé.

The Frenchman has prevailed on each of those occasions, although Kenny was awarded the rainbow jersey for the 2011 world championship after Baugé was stripped of the title as a result of whereabouts infringements.

Kenny beat Azizhusalni Awang of Malysia 2-0 in his quarter final today, and Baugé defeated Germany's Robert Forstemann by the same margin.

The other semi finalists are Australia's Shane Perkins, and the sprinter who has proved to be the revalation of London 2012 on the track, Nijsane Nicholas Phillip of Trinidad & Tobago, who got through quarter finals against, respectively, Jimmy Watkins of the USA and Russia's Denis Dmitriev.