Sir Bradley Wiggins was denied a golden return to track cycling when he and England’s pursuit team were beaten yesterday by a rampant Australia in the Commonwealth Games.
Wiggins joined Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant in claiming silver in the 4,000-metre discipline at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, but there was never any chance of beating an Australia quartet who built an immediate advantage and never let go.
Instead, Jack Bobridge, Alex Edmondson, Glenn O’Shea and Luke Davison finished with the English team in their sights and a winning margin in excess of five seconds – a crushing victory.
For Wiggins, it represents a fourth Commonwealth Games silver after a six-year hiatus from the track, though there were signs that there is more to come from both Wiggins and his team-mates on the road to Rio 2016.
Australia finished almost two seconds ahead of England in qualifying, though the latter assured themselves of at least second place by besting a talented New Zealand outfit, who cruised to bronze by chasing down Canada.
A packed Glasgow audience showed no nationalistic bias as they roared Wiggins, Clancy, Burke and Tennant on, but it was to no avail.
They slipped a second behind almost immediately as Australia attacked hard in the first couple of laps and the advantage was touching two seconds at the 1,500m mark. England sensed hope when Davison dropped out of the race soon after halfway, but instead, Australia merely increased their stranglehold, adding to their lead at each split.
Clancy rode himself to a standstill before pulling up, leaving Wiggins, Burke and Tennant to complete what had become a surprisingly one-sided outing.
There was a second helping of silver as England’s Jason Kenny, Philip Hindes and Kian Emadi were defeated by New Zealand’s Sam Webster, Ed Dawkins and Ethan Mitchell in the men’s team sprint.
Renicks wins in judo to secure hosts’ first gold medal
Edinburgh judoka Kimberley Renicks won gold for Scotland in the women’s under-48kgs final with a victory over India’s Sushila Likmabam on Thursday.
Renicks scored an ippon throw to the delight of the partisan crowd, as the hosts landed their first gold at Glasgow 2014.
In the bronze-medal contests, Amy Meyer of Australia defeated Barbados fighter Onoh-Obasi Okey, while compatriot Chloe Rayner beat Marcelle Monabang of Cameroon.
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