August 13, 2016 3:00:57 am
Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi claimed China’s first ever Olympic track cycling gold medal when they won the women’s team sprint title on Friday, beating Russia in the final.
The Chinese broke the world record in qualifying for the final and were too strong for Russians Anastasia Voinova and Daria Shmeleva as they sped to gold.
Germany’s Mirian Welte and Kristina Voegel beat Australian duo Anna Meares and Stephanie Morton for bronze, denying Meares a sixth Olympic medal.
It was a joyous moment for China who four years ago at the London Olympics were disqualified having thought they had won the event.
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They celebrated by holding aloft a large Chinese flag as the Rio crowd roared its approval.
Gong and Zhong were also denied a world championship gold in March when they were demoted to silver because of a technicality in the final against Russia, a decision that left their French coach Benoit Vetu so furious he broke his hand after smashing it against a table.
“We knew that we were ready. We broke the world record (unofficially) twice before coming here,” Vetu said told Reuters after joining in the celebrations.
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