Fri, September 20, 2013

Canadian women bring home bronze in team pursuit

By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency


Canada's Tara Whitten, Gillian Carleton and Jasmin Glaesser compete in the track cycling women's team pursuit at the Velodrome during the London 2012 Olympic Games on Aug. 4, 2012. (REUTERS)


LONDON - All that glitters is not gold. Bronze has a certain sheen to it.

That was clear from the smiles on the faces of Canada's threesome in the women's team pursuit as they narrowly edged Australia to win the bronze medal.

Tara Whitten of Toronto, Gillian Carleton of Scarborough, Ont., and Jasmin Glaesser of Vancouver posted a time of 3:17.915, crossing the line milliseconds ahead of the Australian team.

"It really feels amazing," said Whitten, 32. "I'm really proud of how the team came together today. We were just fighting the whole way and it's just amazing to have done it. We made a decision to use the energy of the crowd. It's so loud, you can either let it distract you or feed off that energy. We just did our own ride. It's been really exciting to see the depth of Canadian track cycling now."

Whitten, a two-time world champion in the omnium, will be competing in that event on Monday.

Nobody was going to catch the British on this day. The team from the U.K. finished in 3:14.051 to set a world record. The Americans were second.

"It was very tough," said Glaesser, who moved to Canada with her family from Germany when she was eight years old. "The last two rides (were) back to back but we really wanted this as a group and as a team (and) as a thank-you for all the people who have helped us the last year to pull this off. To see it happen is just so amazing."

"We knew it was going to be a battle," added Glaesser, when asked about the Australians. "We know they start off fast but we knew it was going to come down to the last lap. It was a challenge, but we were 100% committed to do our best. We knew that if we paced ourselves really well and saved ourselves for the end and have a strong finish, we could have a chance."

The Canadians were expected to do well in the event as all three cyclists had done well individually and as a team in world championships and World Cups leading up to the London Games, including finishing third in the team pursuit at this year's world championships in Melbourne, Australia.

Whitten, the most experienced of the three, was on the squad that won the team pursuit gold medal at the World Cup in Cali, Colombia two seasons ago.

In the women's team pursuit, teams of three race over three kilometres.

steve.buffery@sunmedia.ca

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