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Britain shares glory with Australia in first track cycling race day
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09:09, September 08, 2008

Britain won three out of five gold medals in track cycling in the first race-day at Beijing Paralympics, leaving other two golds to Australia here on Sunday.

Britain scooped the first gold with Simon Richardson setting a new world record and beating several hot favorites to do it in men's one kilometre time trial of LC 3-4 category.

Richardson, 42, romped home in a time of one minutes and 14.936 seconds to set a new LC3 class record, leaving silver medal to Japanese Masaki Fujita. Athens 2004 winner Greg Ball of Australia set a new LC4 world record at one minute and 17.681 seconds to grab the bronze.

Host cyclist Zhang Lu broke the Paralympic record of LC 3 class to finish sixth.

"I'm not very satisfied with my performance today. I can do better on the outdoor track," said Zhang Lu. "I am better at team sprint instead of 1km Time Trial actually."

Aileen McGlynn won Britain the second gold after taking a second off her own world record in women's 1km B&VI time trial together with her pilot partner Ellen Hunter at 1 minute and 9.066 seconds. Silver medallist Felicity Johnson set a new Paralympic best which lasted all of two minutes when McGlynn stepped up to smash both world and Paralympic marks going under one minute and 10 seconds for the first time ever.

"I trained together with Hunter six year ago and both of us trained very hard," said McGlynn. "Our first international games was the Athens Games and we won the title. It means a lot to us to defend it."

The bronze went another Australian pair of Lindy Hou.

Darren Kenny didn't even have to finish his final in men's CP3 individual pursuit to take Britain's third of three-in-a-row golds. He overtook silver medallist Jin Yong-sik of South Korea a third of the way into the race. Kenny also set up a new world record at three minutes and 36.875 seconds in morning's qualifications.

"As I said today, it's just a sense of relief. I managed to do. That's my goal I set for the last four years," said Kenny, who managed to defend his Paralympic title.

Canadian Jean Quevillon easily beat Spain's Maurice Far Eckhard to take the bronze medal.

In the closest race of the day, Aussie Chris Scott, the world record-holder and the defending champion, snatched gold medal by just a mere margin of 0.13 seconds from his Japanese rival Masashi Ishii in men's CP4 individual pursuit race. Scott led by 1.4 seconds at the halfway mark of the 3km race and looked odds-on to win but Ishiifought back closing the distance. Scott scorched over the line ahead to retain his title. Spaniard Cesar Neria took bronze.

Scott, 40, considered this final to be his last as he would focus more on road cycling after this Paralympics.

"It's amazing to defend the title, but I told everyone it is definitely my last pursuit ever," said Scott. "I'm the first gold medallist for Australia, which makes it more special for me. It's just my dream coming true."

"But it is my last Paralympics and my last pursuit. I'll stick to the road stuff, which will be a little bit easier on my body.

Scott's teammate Kieran Modra seized Aussis's second gold in men's B&VI individual pursuit race, beating Spaniard Chiristian Venge with a new world record of four minutes and 18.166 seconds.

Modra and pilot Tyson Lawrence just set a new world record in morning's qualifications, breaking their own world record. They could have claimed victory when they overtook Venge and pilot David Llauredo with a killometre left in the race. BUt the pair decided to continue racing and accelerated to the new world mark 0.8 seconds ahead of their previous best.

"It's something we never expected. We did it at the first one," said Modra. "It's very hard, and we never thought that we could do it again. We thought, 'well, we got it.' We just put it away into the same basket."

Modra's victory gave Australia first and third in the class with teammates BryceL indores and pilot Steven George winning the third place.

Source: Xinhua

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