• China's Gong Jinjie (R) and Zhong Tianshi power to the world record in qualifying for the team sprint at the Rio Olympic Games (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
China's sprint stars Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi broke the world record before winning gold against Russia in the final. Australia's Anna Meares and Stephanie Morton were out classed in the race for bronze by Germany.
By
Cycling Central

13 Aug 2016 - 12:04 PM  UPDATED 13 Aug 2016 - 12:14 PM

The Chinese sprint team put the disappointment of 2016 World Championship disqualification behind them to break the world record in an earlier heat, then defeating Russians Daria Shmeleva and Anastasia Voinova in the race for the gold medal. 

Posting an Olympic record earlier in qualifying, the world record tumbled in China's heat against Spain. 

“We knew that we were ready. We broke the world record (unofficially) twice before coming here,” China's coach, Frenchman Benoit Vetu told Reuters.  

Vetu famously fractured his hand while smashing it on an official's table at the 2016 World Championships in London. His outburst followed the relegation of Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi from certain gold against Russia after one of their changes were deemed illegal. 

"It is the rules but the rules are bad. It was a millimetre too early, that is all. One millimetre,” Vetu said at the time. 

There was no repeat of that error in Rio for the Chinese. Unfortunately, for Anna Meares and Samantha Morton they repeated their fourth place from the same world championships.

The pair qualified fourth fastest to progress to the next round against the Netherlands. Their time against the Dutch of 32.636 was enough for the bronze showdown with Germany. It was also faster than Germany's heat time of 32.806. 

But Miriam Welte and the experienced Kristina Vogel just pipped Meares and Morton by 0.022 of a second on the line. 

"It's brutally heartbreaking that close (for bronze). China and Russia are in a league of their own. We did our best out there and that's all we can ask for," Meares said. 

"We're really happy with how we both rode. But today wasn't good enough," Meares' teammate Morton said. 

Medal round times 

Chn v Rus

  • China 32.107 (G) 
  • Rus 32.401 (S) 

Ger v Aus

  • Germany 32.636 (B) 
  • Aus 32.658 

Heat Times

Aus v Ned

  • Australia 32.636
  • Netherlands 32.792 

Ger v Fra 

  • Germany 32.806
  • France 33.517 

Rus v Can

  • Russia 32.324
  • France 33.684

Chn v Esp

  • China 31.928 (WR) 
  • Spain 33.531

Qualifying round

  • China       32.305   (OR) 
  • Russia      32.655
  • Germany  32.673 
  • Australia  32.881
  • Netherlands  33.189
  • France  33.625
  • Canada 33.735
  • Spain 33.891 
  • New Zealand  34.346 (did not qualify)