Germany break world record twice to take gold as Australia end Dutch dominance at Track World Championships
Germany enjoyed an astonishing evening of success on day one at the 2022 UCI Track World Championships by breaking their own world record twice on their way to claiming gold in the women’s team sprint, while Australia triumphed in the men’s competition for the first time in a decade and Italy’s Martina Fidanza successfully defender her women’s scratch race gold.
The German team made history in the First Round when they set a new world record time of 45.983 seconds, becoming the first women’s team to go under 46 seconds.
But they incredibly outdid themselves again in the gold medal race, clocking a time of 45.967 to come out on top against China.
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The Chinese team were ahead after the opening lap, but Germany soon closed the gap and Lea Sophie Friedrich crossed the line and set another record with an average speed of 58.738 km/h.
In the men’s event, Australia won a thrilling final to topple defending world and Olympic champions the Netherlands.
The Australians were half a second quicker round the first lap and although the Dutch chipped away at their lead, they couldn’t claw their way back in front as the Aussies took gold by 0.043 seconds.
It was their first World Championship gold in the team sprint in 10 years, and ended a period of Dutch dominance in the event that saw them win the last four titles in a row.
Great Britain’s men’s and women’s teams both took bronze, beating the Netherlands by eight thousandths of a second in the women’s event and defeating Germany in the men’s.
Earlier in the women’s scratch race, Fidanza claimed the first gold medal of the World Championships in a thrilling contest that saw Maike van der Duin of the Netherlands take silver and Great Britain’s Jessica Roberts claim bronze.
The 24-strong group remained tightly bunched with three of the 40 laps remaining as riders looked to position themselves well for the final sprint.
But Fidanza, who claimed the rainbow jersey in the same event last year in Roubaix, got herself to the head of the pack as they crossed the line for the final lap.
From there, she showed her champion quality by putting on the afterburners to quickly create a big gap between her and the rest of the field before flying over the finish line with a comfortable lead.
Roberts’ bronze was a first World Championships medal for the 23-year-old Brit, who claimed silver at the European Track Championships earlier this year.
Fidanza’s triumph was the first of 22 world titles that will be won over the next five days in France – 11 for men and 11 for women.
Thursday’s action will see rainbow jerseys awarded in the men’s team pursuit, women’s elimination, men’s keirin, men’s scratch race and women’s team pursuit.
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