O'Shea hits Omnium lead
Australian world champion Glenn O’Shea has hit the lead in the men’s omnium competition after a strong ride in the 4km individual pursuit at the Olympic velodrome today.
O’Shea, 25, riding against Great Britain’s Ed Clancy, rode a time of 4min.24.811sec. to finish third in the event, the fourth of the omnium competition.
That performance gave O’Shea three points to take his overall tally to 17, for a two-point lead from Clancy and Denmark’s Lasse Hansen, who are equal on 19 points.
Hansen was the fastest in the 4km individual pursuit, clocking a respectable 4:20.674, while Clancy rode 4:20.853.
The Olympic record of 4:15.031 is held by Great Britain Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins who set the mark at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
Australian Jack Bobridge holds the world record of 4:10.534, set at the Australian championships in Sydney on February 2, 2011.
O’Shea now has three thirds (flying lap, elimination race and 4km individual pursuit) and an eighth (30km points race) in the six-event omnium.
The event concludes with the 15km scratch race and 1km time-trial at today’s late afternoon session.
In Melbourne in April, when Victorian O’Shea won the world title, he finished no worse than sixth in any event to showcase his all-round ability.
Australia’s Anna Meares has set up a mouth-watering Olympic final clash against arch rival Victoria Pendleton by qualifying second fastest in today’s morning session at the Olympic velodrome.
Meares, 28, stopped the clock at 10.805sec. for the flying 200m to qualify second fastest behind Pendleton, who rode an Olympic record time of 10.724sec.
Meares’ performance showed she had not lost any of her speed and hopefully she has re-grouped mentally after the disappointment of missing a medal in the keirin two nights ago.
The Queenslander set a world record time of 10.782sec. in qualifying during the world championships in Melbourne in April, but then was beaten by Pendleton in a semi-final during which the duo clashed several times.
In the first heat, Pendleton ended on the floor, then Meares was relegated in the second heat after commissaires ruled she had ridden out of the sprint lane. In the decider, Pendleton won in a thrilling photo-finish.
This time, if the seedings are maintained through the next few rounds as the two women have qualified, they are due to clash in the final, scheduled for Day 11 of competition (Tuesday, August 7).
Meares’ world record was lowered by Germany’s Miriam Welte to 10.643sec. at altitude in Colorado (USA) on June 22.
Meares and Pendleton were the only two women to break the 11sec. barrier in qualifying today. China’s Guo Shuang was next best at 11.020.
She will meet Japan’s Kayono Maeda (17th fastest qualifier at 11.600) and Pendleton goes up against Russian Ekaterina Gnidenko (18th fastest qualifier at 11.649) in this afternoon’s session of head-to-head races in the 1/16 first round of sprint racing.
The winners of each heat qualifies to 1/8 finals and the losers go to 1/16 finals repechages.