Three Scots collected Olympic medals on a drama-filled day in the velodrome as Team GB kicked off their Track Cycling medal tally with silver in both Women’s Team Pursuit and Men’s Team Sprint.
Katie Archibald, gold medallist in this event at Rio 2016, and Gold Coast silver medallist Neah Evans were the Scots in action in the Women’s Team Pursuit, riding superbly with Laura Kenny and Josie Knight to break the world record in their first round heat with a time of 4:06.748.
Germany, however, regained the world record they had set on Monday in the very next heat, setting up an exciting gold medal ride against the British. The final saw the British quartet get out strong, but after the first lap Germany started to pull away, obliterating their own world record to win gold with a time of 4:04.249.
While silver for Evans in her first Olympic Games is an outstanding achievement, she is already looking to the future and a chance to return the title to British hands. “It’s really special to be here,” she said. “We’re defending champions, there’s big expectation for British cycling because we do have such a strong reputation, but there are so many strong nations that came out fighting. It wasn’t to be this time, but we’ll be back in Paris.”
In the Men’s Team Sprint, Jack Carlin, who took Individual Sprint silver for Team Scotland in Gold Coast, rode brilliantly with Ryan Owens and Jason Kenny to set a new Olympic record of 41.829 in the first round, a mark that was subsequently bettered by a strong Dutch trio.
The final saw Team GB take on the Netherlands in a repeat of the 2020 World Championships, and the finishing positions were also repeated as the Dutch lowered the Olympic record yet again with 41.369 to take gold.
There was consolation for Jason Kenny however as, with that silver, he joined Sir Bradley Wiggins with eight Olympic career medals – the most ever by a British athlete.
“We came for more but I think we can be proud of ourselves,” said Carlin. “We broke the Olympic record at one point, the Dutch again took it off us. We are happy, we just want more.”
There was also silver for another Scot, this time in Sailing, as Anna Burnet partnered John Gimson to a podium place in the Mixed Nacra 17 class. Partners on and off the water, the pair finished fifth in their final race, which was enough to secure silver following a string of outstanding results across the previous 12 races, including three first place finishes.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “I’m so happy we’re part of this team, which is performing so well. I feel like John’s someone who’s the most deserving of an Olympic medal. He’s put so much work into this for so long. To help him achieve that, I’m just so happy.”
— Team GB (@TeamGB) August 3, 2021