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Pendleton gets gold, British set team pursuit WR

London, England (Sports Network) - This time, the chance for gold didn't slip through Victoria Pendleton's fingers.

A day after being relegated out of competition for medals in the women's team sprint, Pendleton dominated every stage of Friday's keirin, holding off China's Guo Shuang for the victory.

Oh, and both British pursuit teams broke the world record, with the men earning a gold medal in the process. Just another day at the Velodrome.

The second day of track cycling competition brought more success for Great Britain, which claimed gold and the world record behind Chris Hoy's sprint team on Thursday.

That same day, the men's pursuit team set a world record in qualifying, and Friday brought more of the same from the strong British squad.

It recorded the fastest time in the first round to set up a gold medal match with Australia, which has dueled the British for men's team pursuit supremacy over the last decade.

But Great Britain was peerless Friday. In pursuit races, teams line up on opposite sides of the track and try to catch each other, and the British team of Edward Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh immediately started to make up ground.

While the British didn't make the catch before the 4,000-meter race was over, they finished in 3 minutes, 51.659 seconds to set a new world mark and capture their second straight Olympic gold.

Australia finished nearly three seconds behind, while New Zealand beat Russia in the bronze medal race.

Then, it was Pendleton's turn for glory.

She had won her first- and second-round races to set up a final showdown with Australian Anna Meares, who has won the last two world titles in the discipline -- an eight-lap race in which a motorbike paces the riders up to speed before leaving the track with 2 1/2 laps to go.

In the medal race, Pendleton was sitting a few riders ahead of Meares and clearly watching out for her. The 31-year-old rode with one eye over her right shoulder, waiting for the Australian to jump.

Just after the motorbike left the track, Meares did, putting in a big attack along Pendleton's outside. It appeared that Pendleton might be in bad position, but she steadily made her way to the front and countered with an attack of her own.

Meares had no answer. She was either boxed in or unable to respond as Pendleton led for the entire final lap and crossed the finish line ahead of Guo. Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze earned bronze, and Meares was fifth.

"My coach said to me, 'Don't look to their race, just make your own. When it's your moment, just go,'" Pendleton said. "My legs were still good from last night. I really wanted to show what I've got. It turned out okay, I guess."

Pendleton, who claimed her second career Olympic gold medal, rebounded from a disappointing first day of competition. She and team sprint partner Jessica Varnish looked to be on pace to get a medal, but Pendleton passed Varnish too early during one of their heats and never contested the final.

Guo and her teammate Gong Jinjie did race in that final, but they, too, were relegated for the same reason. Despite beating Germany in the team sprint, the Chinese duo came away with silver.

She said she didn't want to dwell on that race, and Friday earned another silver.

"The competition was really tactical, and I am glad for the silver medal," Guo said.

Qualifying for women's team pursuit also took place Friday, and Great Britain's Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell set the world record with a time of 3:15.669 in the 3,000m race.

The United States (3:19.406) had the second-fastest time, followed closely by Australia and Canada. Medals in that event will be awarded Saturday.

08/03 15:35:34 ET


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