Golden double for GB

Three chances of gold on opening day

By Jonathan Turner.   Last Updated: 06/11/10 12:39am

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Men's pursuit team: Perfect start

Men's pursuit team: Perfect start

Sky Bet

Great Britain won two of the four gold medals on offer on the opening day of the European Track Championships in Poland.

The event represented the first phase of qualifying for the London Olympics in 2012 and Great Britain triumphed in both team pursuits.

The first gold was won by the men's squad of Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Jason Queally and Andy Tennant who saw off Russia in the final.

That quartet was unchanged from the line-up which qualified fastest but there was little between the two countries in the opening few laps of the final.

However Great Britain soon began to assert their supremacy and when Queally peeled off after three of the four kilometres they were in complete command, eventually winning by nearly four seconds.

It was a similar story in the women's team pursuit as Katie Colclough, Wendy Houvenaghel and Laura Trott cruised to victory over Lithuania.

The Lithuania trio took an early lead but it was one-way traffic after that as the GB women went further and further clear, almost catching their rivals on the last lap.

Sprint surprise

However the gold rush came to a surprising end when Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish were beaten by France in the final of the women's team sprint.

The French duo made much the quicker start and despite a late rally from Pendleton they held on to win by around a bike length.

The other gold that eluded Great Britain was the men's team sprint after Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Matt Crampton narrowly failed to reach the final.

They missed out by under a tenth of a second in qualifying and had to settle for bronze after beating host nation Poland in the race for third and fourth, clocking 43.968secs - quicker than the time Germany recorded in taking gold ahead of France in the final.

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